Recently, the US carmaker Ford issued a worldwide recall for almost 634,000 of its sport utility vehicles due to an engine flaw that could cause a deadly under-hood fire.
Fuel or fuel vapor may build up and may ignite on or near heated surfaces inside the engine bay as a result of cracked or leaking fuel injectors.
The 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engines in Ford’s 2020–23 Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs are subject to a recall owing to faulty fuel injectors. This is the same engine package that was recalled in April due to the possibility that damaged oil separator housings could leak and start an under-the-hood fire.
There have been 54 documented under-the-hood fires with that 1.5-liter engine, albeit no fatalities have been connected to those potentially deadly fires. At least four of those fires were brought on by damaged fuel injectors, and another 13 are thought to have been started by leaky fuel injectors.
634,000 vehicles are included in the recall, including 520,000 sold in the US and 114,000 abroad. Owners of recalled SUVs can take them to a dealer for fuel injector repairs, which will also involve installing a tube to drain extra gasoline away from the hot cylinder heads and updating the vehicle’s software to enable the driver be alerted of potential cracks and leaks.
According to Ford, the software update will automatically limit engine power if a pressure drop in the fuel rail is detected in order to reduce any risk and give consumers time to drive to a safe spot, stop the car, and make arrangements for service.
Unfortunately for Ford customers, this recall is not the first one that the nation’s second-largest carmaker has had to undertake this year. Consumer Reports only last week reported that Ford has had to recall over 450,000 of its model year 2021–2022 F-150 pickups due to defective windshield wipers.
The issue there involved voltage surges damaging the circuit boards of the tiny motors that drive the windshield wipers, causing them to perform improperly or not at all.
The Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, and Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 heavy trucks and SUVs from model years 2020 to 22 were included in that recall, which was essentially an extension of one Ford issued in April and about which Consumer Reports had previously reported independently.
In that case, the issue was splines in the wiper arm motors that had stripped and failed to engage, resulting in the wipers’ failure to function, especially in cold weather or in conditions when they were put under more strain than usual, like when clearing ice or snow.