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Ford is recalling more than 634,000 SUVs due to fuel leaks and fire hazards

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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 634,000 SUVs worldwide because a cracked fuel injector can spew fuel onto a hot engine or leak fumes and start a fire.

The recall affects the 2020 to 2023 model years Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs. All are powered by 1.5 liter three-cylinder engines.

The Dearborn, Michigan automaker said Thursday it doesn’t recommend owners stop driving the vehicles or park them outside because fires are rare and don’t usually happen when the engine is off.

But Ford said it has received 20 reports of fires, three of which have set nearby buildings on fire. The company also said it had four claims of fires seen in less than five minutes after the engine was turned off. Ford also has four non-burn claims and 43 legal claims attributed to the problem.

The repairs are not yet available, but once they become available, owners should schedule a service with a preferred dealer, Jim Azzouz, executive director of customer experience, said in a statement. Owners will be informed by letter from 19 December.

Owners can take their SUV to the dealership and get a free loan, or have it picked up and delivered for free.

The dealer will inspect the injectors and replace them if necessary. Ford also says it’s extending the warranty to cover cracked fuel injectors for up to 15 years.

Dealers will update the vehicles engine control software so it can detect broken injectors. Drivers will receive a dashboard message to use the service. In addition, if injectors lose pressure, engine power is cut off to reduce the risk and allow drivers to stop and move to a safe location to call service, Ford said.

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They will also install a tube to carry fuel away from the cylinder head and away from hot surfaces.

Ford said it is not replacing the injectors because the failure rate causing leaks is low, estimated at 0.38% for 2020 models and 0.22% for 2021 to 2022 models. The rate is for 15 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km).

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