Ford’s (F) quality and reliability issues have popped up again, this time with a big recall of some of its most popular products.
Ford is recalling over 125,000 Ford Maverick pickups (2022-2023) and Ford Escape (2020-2023) and Lincoln Corsair (2021-2023) SUVs that are equipped with automaker’s 2.5L hybrid or plug-in hybrid engines over a risk of fire, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported on its website.
“In the event of an engine failure, engine oil and fuel vapor may be released into the engine compartment and accumulate near ignition sources such as hot engine or exhaust components, possibly resulting in an engine compartment fire,” NHTSA said Monday.
With these two latest recalls, Ford now leads the industry with 27 separate product recalls this year, affecting more than 3.1 million vehicles, according to NHTSA’s website.
Ford says in NHTSA’s recall report that less than 1% of the vehicles produced with this engine may be defective. In the event of failure, the report states that the engine will “produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants” and will also result in a reduction in engine torque, and may result in an engine fire.
Ford is advising owners to safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible upon hearing unexpected engine noises, experiencing loss of power, or if smoke emanates from the engine bay.
NHTSA’s report says a fix is being developed and will be available in Q3 of this year — and owners will be notified by Ford if they are affected by the recall.
Ford's recall woes
Ford’s recall of 125,000 pickups and SUVs follows last week’s recall of approximately 142,000 Lincoln MKC SUVs, also due to fire risks. In the Lincoln MKC’s case, a battery monitor sensor may short-circuit and overheat, causing a fire in the engine bay. Lincoln MKC owners are advised to park outside and away from structures until a recall repair is completed.
Ford’s reliability issues have been a thorn in the side of Ford and CEO Jim Farley, who is seeking to transform the company for an electric age. A high-profile recall of its Lightning EV pickup put a damper on sales earlier this year, and Farley has said overall quality issues will take years to root out.
"Ford has been the number one in recalls in the US for the last two years," Farley said in February of this year. "Clearly that's not acceptable."