Ford says that it has a solution for the engine fire issues that prompted it to recall more than 89,000 2013 Escape and Fusion models equipped with the 1.6-liter Ecoboost motor last week.
The problem lies with the cooling system software, which Ford states is unable to address a loss of coolant system pressure under certain conditions, potentially leading to a fire. Ford says that software updates to the cooling system will fix the issue.
“The software updates will better manage engine temperatures during a unique overheating condition that could occur under unique operating conditions,” Ford said in a statement.
The update process is expected to take roughly half a day, although service scheduling requirements could mean a dealer may need the vehicle for a longer period of time. Ford dealers will begin installing the software updates early next week. In the meantime, Ford is advising customers to contact their dealer for a free replacement vehicle.
At least 12 Escape fires and one Fusion blaze have been caused by the software problem. Ford says that some drivers who have experienced engine fires said that the incidents were preceded by "Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps" or "Engine over temp, stop safely" in their instrument clusters. Others indicated that their instrument clusters sounded a chime and illuminated a red light.
The recall is the fourth for the 2013 Escape and the first of two thus far for the 2013 Fusion.