Ford has instructed its dealers not to allow test drives of the new Escape if it has the 1.6-liter engine, or to deliver ones that have been bought to customers, until they undergo recall repairs.
Ford announced the recall to head off the problem of potential engine fires. Ford says it hopes to take care of the whole issue within a couple of weeks.
Those who have bought the car are supposed to park it, call their dealer and wait for them to come out with a loaner. Don’t drive the car until it’s repaired, Ford is saying.
The good news is that there is no shortage of the fuel lines at the heart of the problem. There are enough, in fact, that Ford hasn’t halted production of the Escape at its Louisville, Ky., plant, says spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel. The fear is that some of the lines may have been scratched or scored during manufacture, leading to potential leaks when they are in service.
The test drive issue is real: More than half of the 11,500 Escapes made so far — it’s a whole new design compared to the 2012 model — are on dealer lots or in transit. The issue applies only to the 1.6-liter, one of three engine choices on the model.