The Lincoln Corsair, as well as the Ford Escape and Maverick equipped with the hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains, are recalled
In the case of an engine failure, oil and fuel vapor could ignite
Dealers will modify the cooling flaps and the under-engine shield to direct vapours away from hot parts
The automaker will need to modify 100,689 vehicles from the 2020 to 2022 model years that were sold in the United States.
The risk of fire occurs after an engine failure, which seems to happen more often than normal with the 2.5L engine that is used as part of the hybrid system available on the company’s smaller SUVs and trucks. This is apparently due to isolated engine manufacturing issues which are not common to all vehicles powered by this powertrain.
Such an engine failure causes large quantities of oil or fuel vapours to be released into the engine compartment through a breached engine block or oil pan. This situation is made worse by the underhood aerodynamics created by the under-engine shield and the active cooling flaps.
These elements, which are used to lower the vehicle’s drag coefficient in order to allow a lower fuel consumption, can end up trapping the oil and fuel vapours near the engine and forcing them towards potential ignition sources, such as the exhaust system.
This can cause the vehicle to suffer an engine compartment fire. Fortunately, the automaker has not reported any known accidents or injuries that have been caused by this particular issue.
In the letter sent to owners, the automaker recommends drivers pull over and turn off the engine as soon as possible if they hear loud metallic noises from the engine compartment
In order to reduce the risk of such a fire, Ford dealerships will be instructed to modify the affected vehicles by drilling additional drain holes into the under-engine shield and by making sure the cooling flaps keep the engine temperature lower than before and provide enough airflow to purge the engine compartment of flammable vapours.