Owners of brand-new 2013 Ford Escapes were shocked several days ago to receive a notice that their vehicles were being recalled due to the risk that they could catch fire. Dramatically, Ford told owners to stop driving their vehicles immediately and let the dealers pick them up and take them away to be repaired. Dealers are supplying Escape owners with loaner cars while their vehicles are being fixed. All 2013 Escapes with 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engines were affected by the recall; other Escape models were not.
Ford is now saying that fuel lines supplied by part maker TI Automotive are the source of the problem.
Some of the fuel lines were "mechanically scored" at TI Automotive's plant in Ashley, Indiana, according to documents Ford filed Friday with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A fuel line with a cut on the surface could split open and leak, according to the documents. –Chicago Tribune
Ford said that so far there have been three reports of fires in the 2013 Escape: two at the factory and one while a customer was driving. No one has been reported injured as a result of these fires.
In the meantime, Ford is continuing to produce 2013 Escapes, and TI Automotive is continuing to produce the fuel lines, after having repaired the manufacturing flaw that caused the fire risk.
It sounds like Toyota could learn a thing or two from Ford about taking a serious problem seriously and reacting quickly to prevent consumer injuries and deaths.