It may be time to escape if you're an Escape owner. And you may want to do it with another car.
Ford is recalling the Escape again for the seventh time since July 2012. This time the SUV is being recalled to fix oil and fuel leaks that could lead to the engine catching fire. (They may need Katniss to solve this problem.)
The new Ford Escape has had 7 recalls in one year! The latest recall is for oil and gas leaks. Wow!!
— #1BoxingFan (@CaliLoopZ) November 26, 2013
Only the redesigned 2013 model year Escape is being recalled for it's potential risk of an engine fire. More than 161,000 of the hot-selling SUVs have been recalled and 12,000 of those have fuel lines that may have been incorrectly installed. Ford says the oil leaks can cause the cylinder heads of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines to overheat and crack.
The incorrectly installed fuel lines can leak gas after becoming chafed, though many of these were fixed during previous recalls.
So far only 13 fires have been reported from the Escape, and thankfully there have been no injuries. Reports of engine fires were first recorded in late August, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Ford then began an investigation, during which they were able to duplicate cracking of the cylinder heads. They also found leaks in the fuel line, which they were able to fix.
Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said, "We're committed to providing our customers with top-quality vehicles and are equally committed to addressing potential issues and responding quickly for our customers."
Auto safety advocates would disagree with Ms. Felker's statement. They believe that seven recalls is quite a high number for a new vehicle model and may mean there are problems with the quality of the Escape.
Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, thinks this is just more bad news for the Escape and Ford. Kane said, “Anytime you have more than a handful of recalls, it is troublesome. It’s another black eye for Ford on this vehicle.”
None of these recalls seem to bother consumers though, the Escape has been purchased by more than 250,000 people in the U.S. alone this year.
The 2013 Escape was first recalled in July 2012 because carpet padding was interfering with the brake pedals. It has also been recalled for fuel lines that can crack, coolant leaks, and child safety locks.
So if you own an Escape, maybe leave it alone until you can take it to a dealer in January, when the recall will start. Then they can fix the problems for free.