Ford is recalling more than 125,000 Escape SUVs, Maverick pickups and Lincoln Corsair luxury SUVs because their engines could leak fluids and catch fire. All the vehicles being recalled are hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions.
All three models share similar engineering. Because of a manufacturing problem, the 2.5-liter gasoline engines can leak engine oil or gasoline vapors that can catch fire when they contact hot parts in the vehicles’ engine compartment. Because the vehicles are hybrid and have electric motors as well as gas engines, someone could continue driving even after the engine has failed, making problems worse, according to paperwork Ford filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Escape and Corsair are built at Ford’s plant in Louisville, Kentucky, while the Maverick, a small pickup, is built at a factory in Hermosillo, Mexico. The recall applies to model year 2020 through 2023 Escapes, 2022 through 2023 Maverick models and 2021 through 2023 Corsairs.
Most of these vehicles were recalled for the same issue last year. At that time, Ford and Lincoln dealers made alterations to the vehicles, at no cost to owners, to allow for drainage of leaking fluid and fumes. Fires still occurred on vehicles that had the work done, though. Ford is now working on other methods to prevent fires. There have been a total of 28 fires apparently linked to this issue, according to Ford, including five since last year’s recall.
Once a repair for the issue has been devised, owners will be advised to go to their Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the vehicles fixed at no charge. In the meantime, owners are being advised that if they hear unusual noises from under the hood or experience a loss of power or smell smoke, they should immediately find someplace safe to pull over and shut off the vehicle. Owners with questions can contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or Ford customer service at 866-436-7332. Owners can also contact their Ford or Lincoln dealer.
This recall is unrelated to another recently announced recall of Lincoln MKC SUVs, essentially an earlier version of the Corsair, that could catch fire while parked. Ford also recently had to recall the Bronco off-road SUV because NHTSA found the seatbelts too difficult to reach.