Ford Motor Company issued a recall of more than 100,000 hybrid vehicles in the United States on Friday due to the potential risk of fire under the hood. The latest recall affects select Escape, Maverick and Corsair models with 2.5-liter hybrid/plug-in hybrid (HEV/PHEV) engines produced between 2020 and 2022.
According to Ford, isolated engine production issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures in which the engine block or oil pan has been damaged.
“Ford is issuing a recall for certain vehicles equipped with a 2.5-litre HEV/PHEV engine because in the event of an engine failure, significant amounts of engine oil and/or fuel vapor could be released into the environment under the hood and migrate to and /or accumulate near ignition sources, which could lead to under-hood fires, localized component melting or smoke,” Ford Media told UPI in a statement.
While dealers were notified on Friday, owners of the affected vehicles will be notified from August 8.
The automaker said that when owners return the recalled vehicles, dealers will fix them by adjusting the engine screen and changing the active grille hatches to allow for better airflow and reduce under-hood temperatures to below temperatures. ignition points of fuel vapor or engine oil.
The company added that it has not received any reports of injuries or accidents related to the defects that led to the recall of its 100,000 hybrid vehicles.
In addition to this recall, Ford is also expanding an earlier May 2021 recall of Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs in the U.S. manufactured between December 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021, due to the potential risk of fire under the hood, including when the vehicle is parked and out.
At the time, the recall affected 39,013 vehicles, but this number has now expanded to 66,221 cars built between July 27, 2020 and August 31, 2021 based on further analysis of the causes of the fires.
While the company was not aware of the issue at the time of the initial recall, Ford announced on Friday that the cause of the issue was due to a change of manufacturing location by a supplier during the COVID-19 pandemic. Circuit boards produced at this plant are particularly susceptible to short circuits at high currents and were supplied to Ford and installed in Expedition and Navigator SUVs produced during the recall period.
Dealers check the battery junction box for melting damage and replace the entire component if necessary. They will also remove the engine fan ground wire from the battery junction box in the affected vehicles.
Ford advises owners of these vehicles to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until the dealer service their vehicle. However, it says owners will still be able to drive the vehicle until replacement parts for this repair become available in early September.
Ford says 21 fires and one injury have been reported in the 2021 Expeditions and Navigators.
To find out if your vehicle has been affected by the pending recall, please visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and enter your 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number.