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Ford Just Recalled Over 600,000 Cars After 20 Fires Were Reported

The vehicle manufacturer says the potential problem affects two popular models.

One of the top considerations when shopping for a car is its safety performance. Drivers want to know the vehicle they're using to get themselves and their loved ones around can help them avoid accidents and offer plenty of protection in the event of a crash. But despite all of the new technology that has made the road a safer place, design flaws and manufacturing errors can sometimes put people in harm's way. And now, Ford has just recalled more than 600,000 cars after at least 20 fires were reported. Read on to see if your vehicle could be affected by a serious mechanical issue.

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Unfortunately, car recalls are not exactly uncommon.

A line up of cars in a parking lot
Shutterstock / Laszlo66

All cars develop issues over time as they age and put more miles on the odometer. But just like any other mechanical product, some vehicles roll off the line with an unknown defect or safety issue that has to be addressed with a recall.

Recently, Kia issued a recall for specific 2017 and 2018 models of its Kia Niro hybrid electric vehicles, affecting just over 27,000 vehicles, according to Kelly Blue Book. The company said that an issue with the car's main relay could cause the rear seats to overheat and increase the risk of a fire. Chrysler also recently issued a fire safety-related recall of its own affecting 2020 to 2023 Ram 2500 and 2020 to 2022 Ram 3500 pickup trucks. In this case, a transmission fluid leak caused by a build-up of heat and pressure could cause the engine compartment to ignite.

Even Ford has recently found itself pulling its cars and trucks off the roads for repairs due to safety issues. On Nov. 18, the company announced a recall expansion affecting more than 450,000 of its 2021 and 2022 model F-150 pickup trucks due to potentially faulty windshield wipers that could stop working and increase the risk of an accident, according to Consumer Reports. But now, the auto manufacturer is calling in more of its vehicles over safety concerns.

Ford is now recalling over 600,000 vehicles due to serious safety issues.

Ford dealership in Indianapolis
Jonathan Weiss /

On Nov. 18, Ford Motor Company announced a recall of two of its popular SUVs. The affected vehicles include 2020 to 2023 models of the Ford Escape and 2021 to 2023 models of the Ford Bronco Sport, each with 1.5-liter engines, per the company's notice posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The company says that the design flaw in question was taken out of production on Oct. 17, 2022. More than 520,000 vehicles in the United States are affected by the recall, and 634,000 in total worldwide.

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A design issue could raise the risk of fire in certain vehicles.

driving car
BEAUTY STUDIO / Shutterstock

The latest recall is due to a potentially serious problem related to the vehicles' fuel lines. Specifically, Ford says that cracks can form in the fuel injector, allowing for a fuel or fuel vapor leak that could ignite over a hot surface under the hood while the engine is running, according to Consumer Reports.

While the company says it only expects the issue to affect a small number of the recalled vehicles, there have already been some issues. So far, Ford says it has received reports of 20 fires related to the mechanical issues, CNN reports.

Coincidentally, some of the affected vehicles were also part of a recall announced earlier this year in March. In that case, a potential oil leak was cited as a serious fire risk, says CNN.

Here's what you should do if you're driving one of the recalled Ford vehicles.

man and mechanic Awkward moments

For now, the company says owners do not need to stop driving any Ford Escape or Ford Bronco Sport that's affected by the recall. Instead, owners should take the vehicles to an official dealer where they'll be inspected for cracks in the fuel line and replace any defective parts free of charge. The shop will also install a new software update to help detect any future cracks by way of a fuel pressure monitor that will alert drivers to the issue and lower engine power. This way, the driver can safely pull over before a fire ignites and make a service call, CNN reports.

"Once the repair is available, we will ask customers to schedule service with their preferred dealer," Jim Azzouz, executive director of global customer experience products and customer relations, said in a statement, per Consumer Reports. "They can then take advantage of our complimentary pickup and delivery or a loaner to make sure the repair is completed at their earliest convenience."

Until the repairs are made, Ford says drivers should be wary of "fuel odor both outside and inside the vehicle." Also, noticing "smoke or flames" coming from the engine compartment or underbody of the vehicle means it's likely caught fire. Those with concerns or questions can also consult Ford's dedicated recall webpage.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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