DETROIT — Ford is telling some buyers of 2013 Escape small SUVs not to drive them because the engines can catch fire.
The company is recalling 11,500 Escapes in the U.S. and Canada because the fuel lines can crack and leak. The recall affects only models with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines that were built from early April through July 11 this year.
Ford is taking the unusual step of picking up the SUVs and leaving loaner cars with customers. The company says it has three reports of fires, two at the factory and one while a customer was driving an Escape. No one was injured.
About 4,800 defective Escapes were sold. The rest are on dealer lots and will be repaired.
Ford says customers should call dealers to get the problem fixed.
Don Meyer, the VP of Service for Heiser Ford says the vehicle affects a few dozen vehicles in Wisconsin. In those vehicles, the entire fuel line assembly must be replaced.
“We have two that we have sold so far, and we are in the process of contacting these costumers as we speak. We will go pick up their car and get them in here and give them a comparable vehicle to use while we repair their vehicle,” Meyer said.
The real downside for Ford is the Escape was recently redesigned, and the new version is one of Ford’s best sellers.
Meyer told FOX6 News he’s not worried about the recall affecting sales.
“It’s brand new. Everyone’s really excited about it. We’ll get through it. The part will get replaced as a unit. We’ll get over it and be back to normal,” Meyer said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.