Ford Bronco and Escape Sport Utility Vehicle Recall Issued Over Fuel Leak, Fire Risk
A recall of more than 500,000 Ford Bronco and Escape SUV’s has been issued, following more than 50 reports of fires starting under the hood due to an engine component defect.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Ford Bronco and Escape recall on November 18, after the manufacturer determined the fuel injector may prematurely wear and crack, allowing fuel to leak and contact hot surfaces in the engine.
As of November 1, officials were aware of a total of 143 reports of vehicles experiencing fuel injector leaks, resulting in 54 Ford Bronco and Escape fires. To date, NHTSA is aware of at least four injuries that appear to be the result of fires and 43 legal claims arising from the vehicle fires.
Ford first learned of the fuel injector leak issue on August 18, after receiving at least 36 reports of under hood fires in Bronco and Escape SUV’s, which the manufacturer determined may be related to a previous recall of an oil separator.
However, by November 1, Ford had received an additional 18 reports of fires occurring in the engine compartments of certain model Ford Bronco and Escape vehicles, ten of which occurred after the oil separator had changed from the previous recall. The findings prompted the automaker to reevaluate the previous investigation’s findings.
After a review of customer warranty claims, Ford identified a total of 143 reports of fuel injectors with external leak failures in Escape and Bronco Sport vehicles equipped with the 1.5L engines in the U.S. and Canada.
Ford indicates that the root cause is still under investigation, but has identified a cracked fuel injector in the engine that may allow fuel to leak at a high rate into the cylinder head, which can travel out via a drain hole and down onto hot surfaces on the exhaust/turbo system where it may combust.
As a result of the findings, Ford is recalling approximately 521, 778 model year 2020 to 2023 Ford Escape SUV’s with 1.5-liter engines and model year 2021 to 2023 Ford Bronco Sport SUV’s equipped with the 1.5-liter engine.
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Ford warns customers to be alert for the smell of fuel either outside or inside the vehicle, as this could be a sign the fuel injector is leaking. Ford is further warning customers that if the fuel leak causes a fire, customers may notice smoke or flames emanating from the engine compartment or underbody.
Ford indicates it will begin notifying customers of the recall and will provide instructions on how to schedule a free repair appointment at their local dealer, who will be instructed to update the engine control software and have a drain tube installed. Notification letters to owners are expected to begin on December 19th.
Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall are encouraged to contact Ford Motor Company customer service at 1-866-436-7332 and reference the recall number 22S73.
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