Ford is recalling 125,322 newer hybrid and plug-in hybrid models over the potential for engine failure that could cause engine fires. It's an expansion of a recall from last July that now includes 2023 models. Ford issued a stop-sale order to dealers for new in-stock vehicles in the recall population.
The expanded recall affects 2020-2023 Ford Escape and 2022-2023 Ford Maverick models, as well as 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring models, equipped with 2.5-liter inline-4 engines as part of a hybrid powertrain, with or without a plug. The Escape is available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, the Maverick is available as a hybrid without a plug, and the Corsair Grand Touring is a plug-in hybrid. Non-hybrid powertrains are also available on all three vehicles.
2023 Lincoln Corsair
According to recall documents published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), engines in the affected vehicles could fail, and engine oil or fuel vapor could accumulate near ignition sources, which could trigger a fire. An engine failure involving a breach of the engine block or oil pan could result in owners still being able to drive their vehicles due to the hybrid system, allowing oil or fuel vapor to accumulate without the driver noticing, the NHTSA said.
Ford warns drivers to listen for loud and unusual engine noises, such as metal-to-metal clanking. There may also be smoke or a noticeable loss of engine torque. If any of these things occur, Ford advises drivers to safely park and shut off the engine as quickly as possible.
Ford estimates that only 1% of the recalled vehicles experience this type of engine failure, but acknowledged three more cases of underhood fire or smoke in addition to the 23 global cases previously reported.
2023 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid
Ford has also showcased the use of over-the-air remedies for recalls with its Mach-E EV—although it appears that the fix for this issue will involve a physical fix.
Under the original 2022 recall, owners were advised to take their vehicles to dealer service centers where technicians drilled extra holes in the shield under the engine and modified active grille shutters. A new remedy is being developed, but Ford doesn't expect it to be ready until the third quarter of 2023.
This recall has nothing to do with the electric propulsion system in these hybrids—unlike the small recall of F-150 Lightnings earlier this year due to a battery issue. That was remedied by the supplier and production restarted in March.