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Ford to Customers: ‘Stop Driving' New Escape Until Repairs

For the second time this week Ford has issued a recall for its redesigned 2013 Escape crossover utility vehicle.

2013 Ford Escape
Source: ford.com
2013 Ford Escape

For a redesigned model that rolled into showrooms just last month, the recalls raise questions about the quality and dependability of a very popular CUV.

The latest recall issued Thursday morning is for 2013 Escapes with the 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine. Ford says a faulty engine compartment fuel line could split, leak fuel and cause an engine fire.

In fact, there have been three fires with these Escape models. Two happened with new models before they left the assembly plant and one occurred after it was sold in Canada. In all three cases, there were no injuries connected to the fires.

Ford is telling owners to stop driving the 2013 Escapes immediately. “We’re trying to reach our customers through a variety of methods so they know they should stop driving the Escape until we can repair it,” said Marcey Zwiebel with Ford. The automaker will be delivering loaner vehicles to Escape owners for them to drive while their SUV is being fixed.

Approximately 11,500 of the 2013 Escape models are part of this recall. Those models with 2.0 liter EcoBoost engines and 2.5 liter in-line four engines are not being recalled.

Earlier this week Ford announced a separate recall for 2013 Escape models due to a potential problem with carpet padding interfering with the brake pedal. That recall involves roughly 10,000 models built between March 8th and June 7th. It is possible some people who bought a new escape are impacted by both recalls.

Two recalls so soon after a redesigned model is launched is highly unusual and is a reminder of a time when Ford struggled with problem-free launches. Ford under CEO Alan Mulally has dramatically improved its record for quality and dependability. That, along with improved designs have helped Ford rise to number 2 in auto sales in the U.S. and the Escape is a big reason why.

Last year Ford sold just over a quarter million Escape models, making it the 5th best-selling vehicle in America.

— By CNBC's Phil LeBeau

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