Ford Escape, Bronco Sport recalled again for fuel leak, fire risk

Ford has expanded the recall of a cracked fuel injector that can increase the risk of fire, the NHTSA disclosed Monday.

The original recall, from Nov. 18, 2022, encompassed 521,746 Escape and Bronco Sport compact crossovers equipped with a 1.5-liter turbo-3 engine. That recall from 2022 was also an expansion of a previous recall. This marks the third recall for the same issue on the same vehicles. 

Some of those models repaired under the original fix had a new fuel injector design but Ford did not update the engine control software to account for these new fuel injectors. This software would have detected a pressure drop in the fuel rail, alerted the driver of an issue via the instrument cluster, lessened the engine output, and reduced temperatures of ignition sources where possible in the engine bay. But the new fuel injector could still crack. This time, however, there would be no measures to limit the increased fire risk, and the driver would have no idea until there was a fire. 

Ford reported five fires on this expanded recall population with the faulty fix. The cracked fuel injector issue is limited to the base 1.5-liter turbo-3 engine. The recall of the recalled vehicles totals 42,652 vehicles, including the 2022 Ford Escape and 2022-2023 Ford Bronco Sport built within a three-month window from October 2022 to early January 2023. 

A cracked fuel injector can result in fuel leaking at a high rate onto the cylinder head, which can then run onto hot surfaces near the exhaust manifold or turbocharger. Fuel vapor on a hot surface can ignite a fire. Owners and operators may smell fuel vapors inside or outside of the vehicle, there may be smoke coming from under the hood, and the instrument cluster might signal a warning. 

Ford says it will update the engine control software to detect a leak and service centers will install a drain tube to run any leaking fuel away from the engine. Replacing the fuel injectors with ones that don’t crack would seem the better solution. 

Owners should have received notification of the fix by mail already. For more info, contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 or visit Ford’s recall hub.  


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