The first problem that was publicly announced on July 16 is relatively minor and has little cause for immediate alarm. Apparently, the interior carpet padding located directly to the left side of the center console was improperly installed on some Escape models. Over time, this padding could move out of its normal position and bunch up under the driver’s feet. This situation could result in a reduction in clearance around the brake pedal and accelerator. There is concern that this would make it difficult for the driver to fully depress the brake and would lead to a longer stopping distance in an emergency, panic stop situation.
Credit for discovering this issue goes to a factory worker who happened to notice the misaligned carpet while working on another part of the interior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been formally notified of the defect. Current estimates indicate that it affects around ten thousand total Ford Escapes; there are 8,266 in the United States, several thousand in Canada and a few hundred in Mexico.
The second problem was announced just days later on July 19. This one is potentially more immediately dangerous. A faulty engine compartment fuel line was identified. If the part fails, it could leak fuel directly onto the engine or nearby components. In turn, an engine fire could result.
The company was quick to point out that this problem only affects certain 2013 Ford Escape models equipped with the 1.6 liter turbocharged EcoBoost inline-four engines. Approximately 11,500 North American Escapes may be affected by this issue. Owners of the 2.0 liter turbocharged EcoBoost and naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four engines have no reason for concern.
What’s Being Done?
Ford has wasted no time in addressing these two problems. For owners affected by the initial recall involving the interior carpet padding, the company is recommending that they stop by a dealership as soon as they can to have it replaced. Continuing to drive the vehicle normally until that time should be safe.
If you suspect your Escape may be affected by the fuel line related defect, Ford suggests that you do not drive the vehicle until a repair has been made. The company is offering each owner a complimentary loaner vehicle and will come pick up the recalled Escape free of charge.