Ford Escape Recall Active for Engine Compartment Fires

This recall is similar to an earlier Ford fire recall, which is the longest running and largest safety recall in NHTSA history.

A Ford Escape recall for engine fires is now in place for 245,000 2001-2002 model year vehicles, after a previous recall didn’t solve the safety defect. However, due to a parts delay for a brake fluid reservoir cap, the latest fix may not be immediately available. Ford said it will tell owners to park their vehicles outside until parts are ready. In April of 2007 Ford had recalled connectors used on the Escape antilock braking system for improper seals. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was in the process of conducting an engineering analysis of the ongoing Escape fire problem.

In a filing with NHTSA released today, Ford said the master cylinder reservoir cap could leak brake fluid, which would corrode the antilock brake system (abs) module wiring harness connector. The corrosion can result in melting, smoke or a fire. The previous Escape recall was apparently not properly performed.

Ford dealers will replace the brake master cylinder reservoir cap and the abs electrical system will be modified. Ford expects to notify Escape owners starting the week of January 23, 2012.

This recall is similar to an earlier Ford fire recall, which is the longest running safety recall in NHTSA history.  A defective Texas Instruments speed control deactivation switch (SCDS) may leak, overheat, smoke, and/or burn. Ford engineers did not put a fuse in the circuit, contrary to common industry practice, meaning that full battery amperage was applied when the TI module failed and then caused the unexpected fires.

Critics maintain that Ford was reluctant to deal with the issue due to the large number of vehicles involved. All told, Ford has now recalled more than 14,000,000 vehicles for the fire problem in the U.S. alone, a record for any single safety defect. Ford Canada also recalled at least 500,000 vehicles for the same fire problem, making it the largest recall in Ford Canada’s history.

Owners may contact the Ford at 1-866-436-7332 about 11S24. This recall is related to the previous 07V-156. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or http://www.safercar.gov.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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