Ford Motor Company is recalling more than 634,000 SUVs globally over reports of fuel leaks and fire risks.
The move came after it emerged that these vehicles may run a risk of a cracked fuel injector that can leak vapors or spill fuel onto a hot engine, potentially triggering a fire.
The recall is for all models between 2020 and 2023 of the Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs with the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engines.
The recall affects 518,993 vehicles in the United States alone.
“If your SUV has a cracked fuel injector, a strong smell of gasoline is one of the first signs,” Ford said in its recall statement.
“If you smell gas or smoke, or see smoke, park your SUV and contact your Ford Dealer to have your vehicle inspected.”
According to Ford, a technician affiliated with the company will conduct a Software Update that will detect any drop in fuel pressure and automatically decrease engine power.
In addition, a tube will be installed to drain fuel away from hot surfaces.
Customers can either bring their SUV to a service center or can have the vehicle picked up, repaired, and returned at their convenience.
The services are complimentary.
Owners can also avail themselves of a free loaner car while the recalled vehicle is undergoing repair.
Ford admits that they are in the dark about the cause of the issue and that the matter is still under investigation.
In the United States, the supplier involved in the recall is Vitesco.
The recall statement does not include any instructions to stop driving.
“Taking care of our customers who are affected by this potential issue is our utmost priority,” said Jim Azzouz, Executive Director, Global CX Products & Customer Relation, according to Nov. 24 news release.
The automobile firm has received 20 reports of fires, with three of the incidents resulting in damage to nearby structures.
The problem has 43 legal claims attributed to it as well as four injury claims that do not involve any burns, according to AP.
Ford is extending warranties so that cracked fuel injectors are covered for up to 15 years.
The company does not plan to replace injectors, as the failure rate which triggers the leaks is extremely low.
Ford discovered the issue while checking fire reports related to an earlier recall.
The firm discovered two incidents of under-hood fires in a 2022 Bronco Sport and the 2022 Escape.
Though the reports turned out to be inconclusive, Ford decided that there might be an additional cause contributing to the fires.
The engineering team later determined that a cracked fuel injector was creating a fire risk.
Dealers were notified about the issue on Nov. 23.