Ford recalls 450,000 SUVs, minivans for potential fire, crash woes

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Ford is recalling nearly 500,000 minivans and sport utility vehicles manufactured in the past decade, including the Escape, Freestar and Mercury Monterey for mechanical concerns potentially resulting in crashes and engine fires.

The Dearborn, Mich., automaker is recalling 205,896 Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans (2004-2005 models) because their torque converter output shaft may fail resulting in a loss of sudden loss of power.

Ford is also recalling 244,530 Escape SUVs (2001-2002 models) because their brake master cylinder reservoir cap could leak brake fluid, prompting potential corrosion and a subsequent fire.

Ford detailed said it will inform owners of the affected cars and that dealers will replace the parts for free.

Ford said it will first begin notifying Escape owners the week of Jan. 23, although parts may not be readily available.

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