2021 Ford Escape Hybrid Recall Photo Courtesy Ford Motor Co.
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Ford Recalls Escape Hybrid To Replace High-Voltage Battery System

Although it is a tiny recall, the Ford recall of its Escape Hybrid for an issue with the high-voltage system is important for two reasons. One is that the automaker issues recalls when other carmakers tend to wait and wait. The second reason is that it shows that electrics and hybrids are important to Ford's future and that issues have to be dealt with quickly.

Although most people are used to car recalls that may number anywhere from the thousands to the millions and may cover a variety of systems, there are those times when a recall can cover only one car. But, when you think about the particular recall – even though it is only for one vehicle – it is all the more striking.

Recall Is A Tiny One

In this case, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a one-vehicle recall that covers a crossover hybrid's high-voltage battery system.

The high-voltage battery system is that part of a hybrid that allows it to keep on going without the need for the internal combustion support engine cranking over to keep things up and running.

Usually, hybrids are pretty happy to continue to generate their power through things like regenerative braking, where the propulsion system acts as a power generation system when the hybrid slows down or cruises below a certain speed.

Normal Battery Operation

Indeed, it is possible to cruise along quite happily but slowly on battery power alone if you choose to do it. However, many drivers like to feel the power under their right foot, so the picture's internal combustion piece keeps cutting in.

With that said, though, the big news here isn't the size of the recall. It is the smallness of this particular recall. As noted, it covers one vehicle. It shows the importance that the vehicle industry places on recalls. It also shows the importance of electric vehicles to the automaker.

It is vital because the high-voltage battery may fail, causing further problems. It is the entire reason for this recall. In what could be a piece of understated humor, the safety agency said that if there were a failure, the "sudden loss of drive power" would increase the "risk of a crash."

The affected vehicle is a 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid, equipped with a 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain. The issue is a sudden power loss which will increase the risk of a crash.

Dealer Fix Is Easy

The fix is easy. The dealer involved with this recall will replace the high-voltage battery free of charge. The vehicle's owner should have been notified. For more information on this issue, the owner can contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332. The Ford identifier for this recall is 21S48. Or, the owner can contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit the website at www.nhtsa.gov.

Interestingly, Ford's Canadian branch has authorized the recall of two Escape Hybrids for the same problem.

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.

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