Ford orders recall of 350,000 SUVs due to engine fire risk

DETROIT, Michigan — Ford is asking owners of 350,000 vehicles to take them to dealerships for repairs in three recalls, including about 39,000 that should be parked outside because the engines can catch fire.

Ford says in U.S. government documents released Thursday it doesn’t know what’s causing fires in some 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

But the company says fires can start even with the engines off. Ford has reports of 16 fires under the hood, 14 in rental vehicles. One person was burned. It is recommended to park the SUVs outdoors and away from buildings. So far, it hasn’t developed a fix for the fires, which appear to start in the rear of the passenger-side engine compartment.

Of the 16 fires, 12 occurred while the SUV’s engines were off, Ford said in a prepared statement. The company says there have been no reports of fires extending to buildings.

Ford says it’s not directing owners to stop driving the SUVs, although those who may not be able to follow directions outdoors should contact their dealer or the company.

Ford says it is treating the recall urgently and will use apps and email to notify customers once it develops a list of vehicle owners and addresses.

“We are working around the clock to determine the root cause of this issue and then correct it so customers can continue to enjoy their vehicles,” Jeffrey Marentic, general manager of Ford Passenger Vehicles, said in a statement.

Ford began investigating fire reports on March 24. It said the fires appear to be limited to SUVs built from December 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. The company says it has no fire reports from vehicles built before or after these dates.

The automaker is also recalling about 310,000 heavy-duty trucks because the driver’s airbag may not deploy in a crash.

The recall affects certain 2016 F-250, 350, 450 and 550 trucks. Dust can get into the airbag wiring in the steering wheel and disrupt power. The dealers will replace the steering wheel wiring. Owners will be notified by email beginning July 5th.

And the company is recalling 464 2021 Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs. A software problem can cause unwanted acceleration, deceleration or loss of drive in 4×4 vehicles.

Ford says in documents released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the powertrain control computer may not detect a software error.

The problem will be fixed by retailers or through an online software update. Owners will be notified by letter around May 30th.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Ford orders recall of 350,000 SUVs due to engine fire risk

Dais Johnston

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