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Ford Recalls Nearly 143,000 Lincoln MKCs for Fire Risks

Ford, the parent company of Lincoln, on June 2 issued a recall of nearly 143,000 of its Lincoln MKC compact SUVs over an issue that could lead to a spontaneous fire in the engine compartment.

The potential danger has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue an urgent recall notice for 2015-2019 model-year MKCs, which affects 142,734 vehicles.

Car owners are advised to keep their vehicles parked outside and away from buildings and other vehicles because they could potentially catch fire, even when not running.

The Michigan automaker said the MKC’s battery monitor sensor, which is housed under the hood, is susceptible to damage when servicing the battery or related components in the area.

The sensor is in a plastic housing, and if it’s damaged, it could lead to a short circuit on the sensor’s circuit board. Ford has determined that the electrical current could be sufficient to start a fire if this happens. The sensor is constantly powered, meaning a short circuit could occur even when the vehicle is off.

Epoch Times Photo
People try out the interior of a 2015 Lincoln MKC on display at the LA Auto Show’s press and trade day in Los Angeles, California, on November 19, 2014. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

The company said it is aware of 19 reports of under-the-hood fires that could be related to the battery monitor sensor problem. Of those reports, 11 happened in the United States, seven in China, and one in Canada. No accidents or injuries related to the sensor issue have been reported, the automaker said.

Ford said it has a fix for the issue and is sending instructions to Ford and Lincoln dealerships. Dealers will have a fuse line added to the battery monitor to prevent future overheating.

Dealer notification of the recall has already happened; Ford will begin direct customer notification on June 26. Being a factory recall, the fix will be performed at no charge to owners. The deadline for submitting receipts under that option is November 30.

Concerned owners who are not able to park their vehicle outdoors should contact a local retailer or Ford’s Customer Service Center at 1-833-807-3673 for further assistance.

Those with further questions can contact the automaker at 866-436-7332 (Ford’s number for this recall is 23S28), the NHTSA’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236. Owners can also visit NHTSA’s website and enter their vehicle’s vehicle identification number to see if it’s involved in the recall.

Ford first became aware of the monitor sensor issue in March, when the company received 18 reports of under-the-hood fires in vehicles in China and North America, it said in recall documents (pdf) submitted to the NHTSA. The company investigated the issue in March, April, and May and found that in all instances, the fires happened when the vehicles were parked, and the engine turned off.

The MKC recall comes as the automaker is trying to remake itself by cutting costs and raising quality, CEO Jim Farley said in May. Ford will emphasize software and services as well as iconic vehicles such as pickup trucks, large SUVs, commercial vehicles, and advanced second-generation electric vehicles, Farley said. The company will also cut costs by reducing the number of parts in its vehicles as well as cutting warranty and recall expenses by boosting quality.

Ford has split itself into three business units, “Ford Blue,” “Ford Model e” for electric vehicles and digital products, and “Ford Pro,” the company’s commercial vehicle business.

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