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Ford Finds Software Fix for Fusion, Escape Fire Problem

Addresses “unique overheating condition” to prevent coolant loss.

by on Dec.10, 2012

Ford's new 2013 Fusion faced two recalls this month.

Ten days after announcing the recall of nearly 90,000 Escape crossovers and Fusion sedans, Ford has come up with a fix to prevent potential engine fires in those vehicles equipped with the maker’s popular 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.

Ford acknowledged it did not have a solution in hand when the recall was announced earlier this month but it stressed the urgency of a problem that had been linked to more than half a dozen vehicle fires after their engines overheated and spilled coolant onto hot engine or exhaust components.

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The fix comes in the form of a software update that will better manage engine operations during what Ford described as “a unique overheating condition that could occur under unique operating conditions.” While the fix appears to be simple to implement, Ford has advised owners not to drive their vehicles until dealers can make the necessary repair.

“We remain absolutely committed to continuously improving and providing the highest-quality vehicles to our customers. When a potential issue is identified, we act promptly on behalf of our customers, as we did this time,” said Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development.

The overheating problem appears to occur under an unusual situation where coolant pressure drops precipitously.  The maker says some motorists have had warning messages, such as “Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps” or “Engine over temp, stop safely,” flash on the vehicle’s information screen prior to a fire.  Others have said their instrument clusters sounded a chime and illuminated a red light.

Only vehicles with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine are affected by the recall.

The incident is nonetheless a serious setback for two of Ford’s most important vehicles – both completely updated for 2013. It is, in fact, the fourth recall for the new Escape, three of which were related to potential fire problems.

The Fusion, meanwhile, faced news of a second recall last week, this one due to headlamps that could lose focus and/or brightness over time. (Click Herefor that story.)

Making matters worse, the hybrid version of the new Fusion – as well as the Ford C-Max Hybrid – has come under investigation by the EPA to see if its fuel economy rating is accurate. Last week, Consumer Reports magazine issued a study indicating the two hybrids fell notably short of the 47 mpg rating the EPA previously granted the vehicles.

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One Response to “Ford Finds Software Fix for Fusion, Escape Fire Problem”

  1. manousos1 says:

    Looking at your headline:
    “Ford Finds Software Fix for Fusion, Escape Fire Problem
    Addresses “unique overheating condition” to prevent coolan”

    I think, I see 2 key words:
    1. “software” and
    2. “overheating”

    The first day I drove my brand new Alfa Romeo 135 PS:

    I felt that the “overheating” (under the hood) was not as bad as in my Mazda RX8

    But it definitely was worse than the overheating under the hood of my Honda 250PS:

    Or my Renault:

    To be sure,
    there is a HUGE difference between the conventional engines
    of Honda,
    of Renault,
    of Mazda RX8 Wankel (it is as conventional as the others if compared with the digital Alfa Romeo)

    AND the Alfa Romeo,
    the unique DIGITAL engine of the 21st century.

    This BLESSED “software” Could be MODIFIED/reprogrammed
    and HAS,
    AND MADE the engine COLD,

    Not only to eliminate any “overheating” (like the current problem of FORD)
    But for an IMPORTANT and measurable goal:

    KEEP the thermodynamic cycle COLDER
    (the colder the better)
    IF you WANT to DELIVER the energy (of the fuel) TO THE WHEELS
    NOT to the clouds (as FORD).

    Pure mathematics?