A passing car transporter is reflected in the grille of a 2017 Ford Motor Co. F-150 pickup truck on display at the Sutton Ford Lincoln car dealership in Matteson, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Ford is extending a recall of SUVs and telling owners to park them outside after a series of engine fires that can occur even when the ignition switches are off.
The company also announced Friday that it is recalling another 100,000 SUVs in the United States for a different issue that also causes engine fires.
In May, Ford recalled about 39,000 large Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs in the United States and told owners to park them outdoors and away from buildings. On Friday, the company expanded that recall to cover more than 66,000 2021 model year vehicles after receiving reports of five more fires.
At the time of the first recall, Ford did not know what was causing the fires. But on Friday, the company said it traced the cause to circuit boards sensitive to electrical shorts. The company says it has reported 21 fires and one injury, but no reports of fires extending to buildings.
The circuit boards are part of the battery junction box. Dealers will check the box for meltdown damage and replace it if necessary. They will also remove or repair a ground wire from the cooling fan that connects to the junction box. Parts should be available in early September.
About a third of recalled SUVs can be repaired immediately by removing the ground wire, Ford said.
The other recall affects certain 2020-2022 Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs as well as certain Ford Maverick small pickups. All have 2.5-liter hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains.
According to Ford, if the engine fails, significant amounts of oil and fuel vapor can flow onto hot parts, causing a fire. The company says it has 23 reports of fires worldwide with engines running, but no injuries.
Engines can fail due to a crankshaft machining problem. This issue has been resolved in production, but recalled vehicles may have it.
Recall repair does not address engine failures. Ford said in a statement that engine failures are rare with 0.17 repairs per 1,000 vehicles.
Dealers will add drain holes to an underhood shield and modify the active grille louvers to allow greater airflow and reduce underhood temperatures below the points of ignition of fuel vapors or engine oil.
The owners will be informed from August 8.
Owners check to see if their vehicles are affected by going to https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and entering their 17-digit vehicle identification number.