Big Three automaker Ford Motor Company announced to 2013 Escape owners in Texas and all around the U.S. that it was recalling 140,000 of the crossover vehicles due to a potential fire hazard. The concern was that a fire under the hood could lead to a distracted driving accident or injure consumers directly when oil ignited in the vehicle’s EcoBoost 4-cylinder 1.6-liter after dripping on a hot surface. The recall notification was posted on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and noted that the company had learned of 13 fires associated with the issue. No accidents or injuries had been reported due to the problem, however.
In addition to the vehicles in the U.S., a further 21,000 2013 Escapes in Canada and various export markets were included in the recall action. Although Ford characterized the move as voluntary, in fact automakers are obligated to inform the NHTSA within five days of becoming aware of a safety issue.
According to Ford, the problem was that a localized overheating of the cylinder head in the EcoBoost engine could result in cracks that then could leak oil. That oil, if it fell onto a hot engine surface, could ignite and cause a fire. Dealers were being instructed to take care of the potential for problems by enhancing engine shielding as well as cooling and control systems in the vehicles.
A car accident may be caused by any number of factors, from misbehaving engine parts to a negligent driver texting and driving. In the case of serious injury from a car collision, payments from insurance and financial compensation from the courts may be sought. Pain and suffering might be damages that could be recompensed in a settlement.
Source: NY Times, “Ford Discloses Two New Recalls for the 2013 Escape“, Christopher Jensen, November 26, 2013