Ford recalls over 634,000 SUVs that could burst into flames

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Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 634,000 SUVs worldwide because a cracked fuel injector can leak fuel or leak fumes into a hot engine and start fires.

The recall covers Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs from model years 2020 through 2023. All have 1.5-liter three-cylinder engines.

The Dearborn, Michigan automaker said Thursday it does not recommend that owners stop driving the vehicles or park them outdoors because fires are rare and usually do not occur when the engines are off.

But Ford said it has received 20 reports of fires, including three that torched nearby structures. The company also said it has four claims of fires that were noted less than five minutes after the engines were shut down. Ford also has four non-burn injury claims and 43 legal claims attributed to the problem.

Repairs aren’t available yet, but once they are, owners should schedule service with a preferred dealer, Jim Azzouz, executive director of customer experience, said in a statement. Owners will be notified by letter beginning December 19.

Owners can take their SUVs to the dealership and get a free loan, or they can get free pickup and delivery.

Dealers will inspect the injectors and replace them if necessary. Ford also says it is extending warranties to cover cracked fuel injectors for up to 15 years.

Dealers will update the vehicles engine control software to detect a cracked injector. Drivers will receive a message on the dashboard to get service. Also, if there is a drop in pressure across the injectors, power to the engine will be cut to minimize risk and allow drivers to reach a safe place to stop and request service, Ford said.

They will also install a tube to drain the fuel out of the cylinder head and away from hot surfaces.

Ford said it won’t replace the injectors because the leak-causing failure rate is low, an estimated 0.38% for 2020 models and 0.22% for 2021 through 2022 models. The rate is for 15 years or 150,000 miles. (240,000 kilometers).

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