Ford is telling owners of some of its most popular, current, internal combustion powered SUVs to park their vehicles outside after a series of engine fires that happened even when the ignition switches were off.
Back in May, Ford recalled nearly 40,000 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs after telling owners to park them outdoors and away from homes and other buildings. On Friday, the company expanded that recall to cover more than 66,000 vehicles from the 2021 model year after getting reports of five more fires — and that’s not even the half of it. The company also announced Friday that it’s recalling yet another 100,000 SUVs in the US alone for. A. Different. Problem. That also causes engine fires.
And, if all this sounds familiar, it’s because Ford issued a similar recall for the Ford Bronco and Escape platform twins earlier this year. That recall, also related to fires, impacted fully 345,000 SUV owners, and is not included in the 200-ish thousand vehicle recall reported, above.
Wither the Chevy Bolt
There are some things in life that you don’t know, but you know — and you just know that Chevy’s PR team is choking back peals of laughter over this particular turn of events.
Chevy, and the Chevy Bolt EV, have long the victims of hysterical headlines and nonsensical questions about electric vehicle safety in the face of a dozen or so Chevy Bolt fires. And, sure, it looks bad when the car you’re selling suddenly catches fire and violently burns down some poor schmuck’s house while his wife and kids and impossibly photogenic golden retriever are sleeping soundly in their beds, but for all the ink that’s been spilled on this hither and thither and yon, there’s surprisingly little meat to it. According to Sam Abuelsamid, a leading industry analyst for Guidehouse Insights, only seven Chevy Bolts had “spontaneously” caught fire by September 2021, or about 0.006 percent of those on the road. By comparison, the National Fire Protection Association said 212,000 gas and diesel vehicles caught fire in 2018, or about 0.07 percent of those on US roads.
For their part, Ford said Friday that it has traced the cause of this latest issue to printed circuit boards that are susceptible to an electrical short, and that it has reports of 21 fires (note: that’s a lot more than the Bolt!) and one injury, but no reports of fires extending to buildings. Ford dealers have been instructed to check the box for melting damage and replace it if needed, and also remove or repair a cooling fan ground wire that connects to the junction box. Ford expects parts to be available by early September (!?), so SUV owners will have a few months, yet, of parking outside to look forward to.
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