Ford has announced that a corrective action has been determined to address the latest fire risk for the new Escape SUV and Fusion sedan, coming 10 days after owners were advised not to drive their vehicles.
Ford recently advised customers to contact their dealers to arrange alternative transportation, at no cost, until a repair can be made. The fix is an update to the cooling system software on models equipped with a 1.6-liter engine to better manage temperatures during an overheating condition. Previously, the system was not able to manage temperatures in all operating conditions. (Read: "Ford to recall 2013 Escape, Fusion models to address engine fire risk, drivers advised to park.")
Ford advises that the repair will be available at dealerships starting early next week, and the work is expected to take about half a day. Until the software update can be made, Ford continues to ask that customers park their vehicle and arrange with the dealership for a loaner car.
Affected models can be identified by their vehicle identification number (VIN), located at the base of the windshield. Recalled models will have as the eight character an "X" for Escapes or "R" on Fusions. Owners can also log into Ford.com and check for recalls under the "Support" tab.
All other Escape and Fusion variations are not included in this campaign.
Drivers experiencing the problems have reported that high engine temperatures led to engine fires, preceded by a dash warning that included a chime and display of "Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps" or "Engine over temp, stop safely." If symptoms are experienced, Ford advises pulling over and turning the vehicle off. The automaker will cover expenses related to overheating incidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists four other recalls for the 2013 Ford Escape, including one issued in September, also for engine fire risk. In that recall, an improperly installed plug could allow engine coolant to leak and possibly catch fire. That action is not related to this new recall.
Consumer Reports owns both the recalled models, and like thousands of drivers, we'll take our Escape and Fusion to the local dealership when a repair is available.
U.S. owners may call 866-436-7332 and Canadian customers may call 888-222-7814 for details on securing alternative transportation.