For the eighth time since it was redesigned and debuted in early 2012, the Ford Escape sport utility vehicle is being recalled. This time, the recall is to fix oil leaks that could cause engine fires.
The recall will affect more than 161,000 Ford Escapes from the 2013 model years with 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engines.
The oil leaks can occur, according to the carmaker, when the cylinder heads overhead and crack. Additionally, approximately 12,000 of the recalled Ford Escapes have incorrectly installed fuel lines that could chafe and leak gas.
Many of the problematic fuel lines were repaired under a previous recall.
Ford reported the oil leaks caused 13 fires but no injuries. There haven’t been any fires from the fuel line problems.
In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford said it began to get engine fire reports on the 2013 Escape in late August, 2013 and began an investigation.
Ford was able to duplicate the cylinder head cracking and decided to do a recall. During the investigation, Ford also found warranty claims of fuel line leaks and decided to repair them as well.
In some cases, the fuel lines may have been installed incorrectly by technicians in a previous fuel line recall, the documents said.
Auto safety advocates say the high number of recalls is out of the ordinary for a new model and a sign of quality problems.
But Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker disagreed.
“We’re committed to providing our customers with top-quality vehicles and are equally committed to addressing potential issues and responding quickly for our customers,” Felker told the Associated Press.
The first recall of the new 2013 Ford Escape occurred in July 2102 to fix carpet padding that can interfere with the brake pedals, fuel lines that can crack, coolant leaks, and child safety locks.
Dealers will fix cooling and control systems or inspect and replace fuel lines for free. The recalls start in January.