Ford recalls 1.6-liter Ford Escape, tells owners to stop driving

Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:30pm EDT
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By Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote) told owners of the best-selling SUV in the United States on Thursday to stop driving 2013 model Ford Escape with 1.6-liter engines immediately due to the risk of an engine fire.

Ford recalled about 11,500 new 2013 model Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6-liter engines, of which about 4,800 were sold to customers in the U.S. and Canadian markets, the company said. Most of the rest are on dealer lots.

Only Ford Escape with 1.6-liter engines sold in the U.S. and Canadian markets are affected by the recall and fire risk, Ford said.

It is extremely rare for an automaker to warn drivers to stop driving their vehicles immediately.

Ford is telling owners to contact their local Ford dealers immediately so that loaner vehicles can be delivered and their Escapes picked up to be taken to the dealerships for repair.

Ford said an under-the-hood fire could happen due to an engine compartment fuel line that could split and leak fuel.

Marcey Zwiebel, Ford spokeswoman, said that if consumers quickly contact their dealers, replacement of the fuel line in all of the affected Escapes can be repaired within two weeks.

"It's a liability thing on their part," said Aaron Bragman of IHS Global Insight. "They don't want people driving it if it's happened when they were just shuttling them at the plant."   Continued...

The logo of Ford car manufacturer is seen on a giant board at the Ford car plant in Saarlouis, August 26, 2010. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler