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Ford warns 11,000 2013 Escape owners to park their cars in recall: Motoramic Dash

July 19, 2012

This is the Motoramic Dash, a daily roundup of the most interesting automotive news

In an unusual emergency recall this morning, Ford warned anyone driving one of 11,500 2013 Ford Escapes with a 1.6-liter engine to immediately park their cars, saying a faulty fuel line could split open and start a fire. There's been three reports of fire and no injuries so far, but the move is the second recall on the new Escape in a few days -- raising some questions about quality.

Ford says the 11,000 Escapes with that engine include unsold copies on dealer lots, which will not be allowed into customer hands until the recall repairs are made. Ford told owners to call dealers for a tow and a loaner vehicle, saying while the repair itself should take less than a hour, dealers won't immediately have parts on hand to perform it, a process that Ford wants to finish within two weeks. The recall does not affect new Escapes built with one of two other engines.

While it's rare for an automaker to warn buyers to park their cars in a recall, it's not unheard of, and previous cases have also involved newer models where serious problems developed early in the manufacturing run. It's also the second recall for the Escape since Saturday, when Ford said it would call back 10,000 to fix carpets that could get in the way of the brake pedal.

Safety recalls do tend to say something about an automaker's quality; even though automakers tend to launch more of them earlier, two back-to-back like this early in a new vehicle's life reflects poorly on its launch. Ford tends to launch vehicles in high volumes, and has delayed key launches in the past to solve quality issues. Going a little slower might have caught these problems before they became safety concerns.

Other stories from around the auto industry:

Honda spending $40 million to boost Indiana plant: Honda will start building Civic Hybrids in its Indiana plant, as it tries to move as much production as possible from Japan for currency reasons, creating 300 jobs. (Detroit Free Press)

Honda recalling 172,000 vehicles to fix doors that won't close: No automaker is immune to recalls. (Detroit News)

Kia calling new rear-wheel-drive sedan Quoris: Americans may call it "that one big, really expensive Kia that doesn't seem to fit in." (Car and Driver)