The Ford Motor Co. has recalled certain 2021 Escape Hybrid crossovers with a major engine problem. The problem is this: the crossovers may have been manufactured with an engine crankshaft problem.
Crankshaft May Have Been Built Incorrectly
According to a notice filed by the automaker with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Escape Hybrid's crankshaft may have been manufactured incorrectly. The resulting problem is simply this: there is the potential for extensive damage to the vehicle's engine. Indeed, the damage could cause the vehicle to stall or result in a fire. Either outcome increases the risk of a crash or injury.
Though only 155 vehicles may be involved in the recall, it still is a significant problem for the automaker. It is such a problem that the automaker is willing to replace the engine if a dealer technician finds the problem.
Usually, replacing an engine is roughly a $3,000 to $4,000 issue. Even the small number of vehicles that need to have their engines replaced can be a substantial outlay for the automaker, on the order of $620,000.
According to the safety agency, Ford will replace the engine free of charge, as necessary, if a technician finds the problem after an inspection.
Ford Will Issue Interim Notices
Ford will mail interim letters to owners notifying them of the safety issues. The NHTSA noted that interim letters were scheduled to be mailed out last week. A second letter will follow up on the first. The letter will let owners know when the remedy is available.
Owners can obtain further information from Ford Motors customer service at 866-436-7332. The Ford identification number is 22S10. Or, owners can contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to the agency's website www.nhtsa.gov. The agency's recall identification number is 22V109.
This is not the first shaft-related item that recently resulted in a safety recall. In December, Ford recalled 165,000 F-150 pickups for a shaft-related problem. Instead of the crankshaft, Ford recalled the pickups because of driveshaft construction problems. The problem was driveshaft insulation, which could lead to significant driveshaft issues.
Because of the problem, driveshafts might come apart, causing the pickup to stop in traffic. Or, if the vehicle is parked, the pickups might roll. The pickups might roll because the pawl that engages when the pickup is in Park cannot seat. Since there is no working driveshaft – it is broken, and the pickup can essentially freewheel – the driveshaft is free to spin, and the pickup can roll into traffic.
Pickups Have A Shaft-Related Issue
Last week, a second Ford filed a second shaft-related notice that involved 250,000 heavy-duty F-250 and F-350 pickups. The heavy-duty pickups were recalled for the same shaft problem affecting the F-150s.
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, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.