Ford recalling 441000 vehicles over engine fires, faulty door latches

Posted March 30, 2017

In the biggest of the recalls, Ford is calling back 230,000 2014 model year Escapes, 2014-15 Fiesta STs, 2013-14 Fusions and 2013-15 Transit Connects equipped with 1.6-liter GTDI engines. In Europe, the recall covers the 2010 through 2015 C-Max hybrid and Focus small auto, and the 2013 through 2015 Transit Connect van.

"In the affected vehicles, a lack of coolant circulation could cause an engine to overheat, resulting in a crack in the cylinder head", Ford reports in the release. Oil could leak through the crack possibly catching fire, if it comes in contact with a hot surface. The company said it is aware of at least 29 reported engine fires in the US and Canada. Ford said continued operation of those vehicles could result in fractured tranmissions or driveline components, which could cause power loss while driving or unintended moving while parked.

Ford said it will mail customers instructions from the owner's manual on how to check and refill coolant. The automaker says the cars are fine to drive, but to watch out for coolant leaks and monitor coolant levels.

The company is also expanding a previous recall on faulty door latches to include an additional 211,000 cars.

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2014-15 Fiesta ST built at the Cuautitlan Assembly Plant between January 22, 2013 and May 27, 2014. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents, Ford said it will notify dealers and owners, and replace all four door latches for free.

The company recalled more than 2.3 million vehicles last fall because their door latches weren't working properly. This is the fifth such recall, involving some 400,000 Escape vehicles in the United States, since the compact SUV made its debut for 2013. This may reduce the vehicle's structural integrity in a side-impact collision, Ford said.

Ford said there have been no injuries so far attributed to the bad latches, which can sometimes prevent the door from fully closing or cause it to open suddenly while the auto is in motion. Ford said it not aware of any crashes or injuries associated with this issue.