Ford recalls thousands of SUVs because engines could catch fire

Ford Motor Co. has asked owners of 350,000 vehicles to take them to dealers for repairs under a three-part recall announcement. About 39,000 of those vehicles should be parked outdoors because their engines could catch fire, Ford said.

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

Still, the company said fires can occur even when engines are off. There have been 16 reports of fires under the hood and 14 of them in rental company vehicles. Ford hasn’t developed a fix for the fires, which appear to start in the rear of the passenger-side engine compartment.

“We are working around the clock to determine the root cause of this problem and the subsequent solution so that customers can continue to enjoy using their vehicles,” Jeffrey Marentic, general manager of Ford passenger vehicles, said in a statement.

Of the 16 fires, 12 occurred while the SUVs’ engines were off, Ford said in a statement. Ford said it’s not instructing owners to stop driving the SUVs, though those who can’t follow outdoor park instructions should contact their dealer or the company.

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Ford began investigating fire reports on March 24. Company officials said the fires appear to be limited to SUVs built between Dec. 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021. The automaker is also recalling about 310,000 heavy-duty trucks because the driver’s air bag may not work. inflate in an accident.

The recall covers certain 2016 F-250, 350, 450 and 550 trucks. Dust can get into the steering wheel air bag wiring, disconnecting the power. Dealerships will replace steering wheel wiring. Owners will be notified by mail beginning July 5.

The engine fire recall comes a month after Ford recalled more than a quarter of a million Explorer SUVs. because they could roll unexpectedly while changing to parking. Ford and General Motors also recalled nearly 682,000 compact SUVs in April because windshield wipers can fail.

Ford is also recalling 464 electric Mustang Mach-E SUVs from 2021. A software problem may cause unwanted acceleration, deceleration or loss of driving power in all-wheel drive vehicles. A software error may not be detected by the powertrain control computer, Ford said in documents released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ford officials recently reported that the company lost $3.1 billion in the last three monthspartly due to a shortage of semiconductor chips limiting the number of trucks and SUVs available for sale in North America, but also as a result of its heavy investment in electric vehicle startup Rivian.

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