Ford is recalling about 140,000 of its 2013 Escape crossovers in the United States because of a problem with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that has caused 13 fires, the automaker has told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a report from the automaker posted Tuesday on the safety agencys website.
About 21,000 additional vehicles are being recalled in Canada and other export markets, a Ford spokeswoman, Kelli Felker, said in an interview.
Ford told the safety agency that localized overheating of the engine cylinder head could cause cracks, allowing oil to leak and ignite should it drip onto a hot surface. The automaker said that 12 fires had occurred in the United States and one in Canada but that it was not aware of any injuries.
The automaker said dealers would fix the problem by making enhancements to the engine shielding, cooling and control systems.
In a second action, Ford is recalling about 9,500 of its 2013 Escapes in the United States, also with the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, because a previous repair for fuel leaks may not have been done correctly, according to a report posted Tuesday on the agencys website.
The vehicles were among those recalled last year after the automaker determined that damaged fuel lines were used. Now, Ford says, it has discovered that some mechanics didnt install the new lines properly and that they may chafe against an engine part, resulting in a leak.
The action also covers about 2,300 more vehicles in Canada and other export markets.
The EcoBoost is a family of turbocharged engines of various displacements. It is an important engine that Ford has heavily promoted and plans to use in most of its vehicles. But many consumers are unhappy with vehicles using the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, according to Consumer Reports magazines Annual Auto Reliability ratings.
Ford described its recalls as voluntary, but once an automaker is aware of a safety problem it has no choice but to inform the safety agency within five business days of its plan for a recall.
In a third action, Ford is recalling about 7,300 of its 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrids because it may be possible to shift the automatic transmission out of park without pushing on the brake pedal, according to an email from Felker.