By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 03, 2012 08:54 AM EST
Ford Motor Co. is recalling Escape and Fusion vehicles from the 2013 model year over reported overheating problems that could cause engine fires.
The automaker is recalling roughly 73,320 Escape compact sport-utility cars and 15,833 Fusion midsize sedans that reportedly have issues with overheating. The vehicles were built and sold in the United States and Canada.
Ford said the recall includes Escape SE and SEL models, as well as Fusion SE and SEL models that have a 1.6-liter engine. The recall does not affect Escape or Fusion models from the 2013 model year if they have other engines.
The latest recall marks yet another bump in the road in Ford's launch of important new vehicles. The automaker has previously recalled certain 2013 Escape vehicles over fuel leaks and coolant leaks issues, as well as carpets that interfered with pedals.
According to Ford, some drivers who have experienced this overheating issue said their vehicles' gauges have displayed various warning messages, including "Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps" or "Engine over temp, stop safely." Meanwhile, other drivers said their dashboards sounded warning signs and lit up warning lights.
Customers driving 2013 Escape or Fusion vehicles with 1.6-liter engines should contact their dealer and arrange for alternative transportation. The solution will be free of charge. Repair procedures, however, are not yet available. Ford said it will notify its affected customers when parts are available so they can schedule a service appointment with their dealer.
Although the overheating issue could cause the engine to catch fire, Ford said that no injuries related to the problem have been reported. U.S. owners of the affected models can call 866-436-7332 for more information, while Canadian customers can call 888-222-7814.
"We have identified an issue and are taking action in the best interest of our customers," said Steve Kenner, Ford's director of automotive safety office, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"It is important that affected customers not ignore this recall and contact their dealer as soon as possible. While we recognize the inconvenience recalls cause our customers, we are taking these actions on their behalf to ensure their safety."