Ford is asking owners of 350,000 vehicles to take them to dealerships for repair under three recalls, including about 39,000 that are expected to be parked outside because engines can catch fire.
Ford says in U.S. government documents released Thursday that it doesn’t know what’s causing the fires in certain 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.
But the company says fires can occur even when the engines are turned off. Ford reported 16 underhood fires, 14 in rental vehicles. One person was burned. It is recommended that SUVs be parked outdoors and away from buildings. So far, it hasn’t developed a fix for the fires, which appear to be starting in the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger side.
Of the 16 fires, 12 occurred while the SUV’s engines were turned off, Ford said in a prepared statement. The company says it has no reports of fires extending to buildings.
Ford says it’s not ordering owners to stop driving the SUVs, though those who may not be able to follow out-of-fleet instructions should contact their dealer or the company.
Ford says it is addressing the recall as a matter of urgency and will use apps and email to notify customers as soon as it develops a list of vehicle owners and addresses.
“We are working around the clock to determine the root cause of this issue and the subsequent remedy so customers can continue to enjoy their vehicles,” Jeffrey Marentic, general manager of Ford passenger vehicles, said in a statement.
Ford began investigating the fire reports on March 24. It says the fires appear to be limited to SUVs built between Dec. 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021. The company says it has no reports of fires from vehicles built before or after those dates.
The automaker is also recalling about 310,000 heavy-duty trucks because the driver’s airbag may fail to inflate in a crash.
The recall affects certain 2016 F-250, 350, 450 and 550 trucks. Dust can enter the airbag wiring in the steering wheel, disconnecting the electricity. Dealers will replace the steering wheel wiring. Owners will be notified by mail from July 5th.
And the company is recalling 464 Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs from 2021. A software glitch can cause unintended acceleration, deceleration, or loss of drive power in all-wheel-drive vehicles.
Ford says in documents released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the powertrain control computer may not detect a software error.
The problem will be solved by the dealers or online software update. Owners will be notified by mail around May 30.