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Engine fires spark recall of new Ford Escape, Fusion models

Ford Motor Co. will recall about 73,000 Escape SUVs and 16,000 Fusions because of engine fires.

All the recalls involve 2013 models equipped with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, the automaker said. The issue does not affect Escape or Fusion models with other engines.

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Ford said it has received reports of engine overheating that results in fires while the vehicles are in operation. No injuries have been reported.

Drivers who have encountered the problem said they noticed high engine temperatures followed by fires. At the same time, a message on their instrument cluster would say, “Engine power reduced to lower temps” or “Engine over temp, stop safely.” Some also said their instrument clusters sounded a chime and turned on a red light.

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Drivers who see these indications should safely pull off the road as soon as possible, turn off the engine and exit the vehicle, Ford said, adding that it “will compensate owners for costs tied to overheating.”

“We have identified an issue and are taking actions in the best interest of our customers,” said Steve Kenner, director of Ford’s Automotive Safety Office. “It is important that affected customers not ignore this recall and contact their dealer as soon as possible. While we recognize the inconvenience recalls cause our customers, we are taking these actions on their behalf to help ensure their safety.”

He said that Ford is working on a repair procedure and that when parts are available, the company will notify customers so they can schedule a service appointment with dealers.

Customers can see whether they are affected by the recall by checking their car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number, which can be found on a label on the driver door opening, at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side of the vehicle or on the vehicle registration. In vehicles with 1.6-liter engines, the eighth character will be “X” on Escapes and “R” on Fusions.

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