Big Three automaker Ford Motor Company announced to 2013 Escape owners in Texas and all around the U.S. that it was recalling 140,000 of the crossover vehicles due to a potential fire hazard. The concern was that a fire under the hood could lead to a distracted driving accident or injure consumers directly when oil ignited in the vehicle's EcoBoost 4-cylinder 1.6-liter after dripping on a hot surface. The recall notification was posted on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and noted that the company had learned of 13 fires associated with the issue. No accidents or injuries had been reported due to the problem, however.
In addition to the vehicles in the U.S., a further 21,000 2013 Escapes in Canada and various export markets were included in the recall action. Although Ford characterized the move as voluntary, in fact automakers are obligated to inform the NHTSA within five days of becoming aware of a safety issue.