One of the main considerations when buying a car is its safety. After all, drivers want to know what kind of vehicle they will be using around them and their loved ones to help them avoid accidents or provide plenty of protection in the event of an accident. But despite all the new technology that has made the road a safer place, design flaws and manufacturing errors can sometimes put people in harm’s way. And now Ford is recalling more than 600,000 cars after at least 20 fires were reported. Read on to see if your vehicle could be affected by a serious mechanical problem.
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All cars develop problems as they age and put more kilometers on the odometer. But like any other mechanical product, some vehicles roll off the line with an unknown defect or safety issue that needs to be fixed.
Kia recently issued a recall for the 2017 and 2018 models of its Kia Niro hybrid electric vehicles, affecting just over 27,000 vehicles, according to Kelly Blue Book. The company said a problem with the car’s main relay could cause the rear seats to overheat and increase the risk of fire. Chrysler also recently issued its own fire safety recall affecting the 2020-2023 Ram 2500 and 2020-2022 Ram 3500 pickup trucks. In this case, a transmission fluid leak caused by the build-up of heat and pressure can cause the engine compartment to catch fire.
Even Ford has recently found itself pulling its cars and trucks off the road for repairs due to safety issues. On Nov. 18, the company announced an expanded recall affecting more than 450,000 2021 and 2022 model year F-150 pickups due to a possible defective windshield wipers that could stop working and increase the risk of a crash. Consumer Reports. But now the automaker is recalling more of its vehicles because of safety concerns.
On November 18, Ford Motor Company announced the recall of two popular SUVs. Affected vehicles include the 2020-2023 Ford Escape and the 2021-2023 Ford Bronco Sport, each with a 1.5-liter engine, according to a company notice posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The company says the design flaw in question was removed from production on October 17, 2022. The recall affects more than 520,000 vehicles in the United States and 634,000 vehicles worldwide.
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The latest recall is due to a potentially serious problem with the vehicles’ fuel lines. Specifically, Ford says that cracks can develop in the fuel injector that allow fuel or fuel vapor to leak, which can ignite on a hot surface under the hood while the engine is running. Consumer Reports.
While the company says the issue only affects a small number of recalled vehicles, problems have already occurred. So far, according to Ford, there have been reports of 20 fires related to mechanical problems, reports CNN.
Coincidentally, some of the affected vehicles were also part of a recall announced earlier this year in March. In that case, the potential oil spill was considered a serious fire hazard, CNN says.
For now, the company says owners do not need to stop driving the Ford Escape or Ford Bronco Sport affected by the recall. Instead, owners should take the vehicles to an authorized dealer where they will be checked for cracks in the fuel line and any defective parts will be replaced free of charge. The shop is also installing a new software update to help detect future cracks with a fuel pressure monitor that alerts drivers to the problem and reduces engine power. In this way, the driver can safely pull over and make a service call before the fire starts, reports CNN.
“When a fix is available, we ask customers to schedule service with their preferred dealer,” Jim Azzouzmanaging director of global customer experience products and customer relationships, said in a statement, per Consumer Reports. “They can then use our free pick-up and delivery or a loaner to secure repairs as early as possible.”
Until repairs are made, Ford says drivers should be cautious “of the smell of fuel both outside and inside the vehicle.” If you also notice smoke or flames coming from the engine compartment or the bottom of the vehicle, it’s likely a fire. Those with concerns or questions can also refer to Ford’s dedicated recall webpage.