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Engine Fires and Unsuccessful Recall Repairs Don't Mix | 2020-2023 Ford 2.5L HEV/PHEV

Set aside the flash, the pomp, the bells and whistles and there's one thing that everyone wants out of their car: don't catch on fire.

Unfortunately, for some 2020-2022 Ford Escape, 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair, or 2022-2023 Ford Maverick vehicles, this may be more of a concern.

On July 7, 2022, Ford filed a defect report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") acknowledging a problem with some Ford vehicles (some 2020-2022 Ford Escape, 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair, or 2022-2023 Ford Maverick) equipped with the 2.5L hybrid (or plug-in hybrid) engines. According to Ford, "isolated engine manufacturing issues" resulted in a failure "involving engine block or oil pan breach"--an unidentified issue with "fluid dynamics" by the Under Engine Shield and Active Grille Shutter system" could increase engine oil or fuel vapor accumulation near various sources of ignition. This in turn could cause an engine fire.

To the driver/passenger, this issue could be observed as loud engine noises, a reduction in engine torque, or smoke from the engine compartment. Ford advised owners of the obvious: "safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible" when seeing any of these issues.

The accompanying Safety Recall--22S47--called for dealers to modify the Under Engine Shield and Active Grille Shutter by (basically) drilling holes to allow any excess engine oil to drain out and allowing more air flow through the engine compartment to remove any excess fuel vapor to be ventilated out. Notably, the Safety Recall does not address the underlying cause of what was causing the increased engine oil or fuel vapor accumulation (as noted by Ford to the NHTSA).

Unsurprisingly, this Safety Recall was not successful, prompting further investigations by Ford. And on May 26, 2023, Ford filed another defect report with the NHTSA acknowledging the ongoing investigations and continuing failures (despite the 22S47 recall remedy having been performed). Accordingly, Ford issued another Safety Recall--23S27--alerting both the NHTSA and its dealers of this pending recall. However, Ford advised both the NHTSA and its dealers that a recall remedy had not yet been developed and that such repair would be anticipated in the 4th quarter of 2023.

Unfortunately, it looks like Ford still doesn't have a fix for this issue.

If you are an owner or lessee of one of the affected vehicles, and have taken it to Ford's dealer several times with concerns of engine failure, a loud noise (akin to metal-on-metal clanking), a loss of engine torque, smoke emanating form the engine, or any other related issues , give us a call to see whether your car may be a lemon. Contact us for a free consultation and see whether you're entitled to relief under the lemon law.


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