FORD MOTOR COMPANY

(REUTERS)

Ford Tells Owners to Stop Driving Certain Ford Escape SUVs

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Ford Motor Co (F) said on Thursday it is recalling 11,500 new 2013 model Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6-liter engines and warned drivers to stop driving them immediately due to a risk of engine fire.

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It is extremely rare for an automaker to warn drivers to stop driving their recalled vehicles. The company is telling owners to contact their local Ford dealers immediately so that loaner vehicles can be delivered and their Escapes picked up to be taken to the dealerships for repair.

The redesigned Escape began to sell only last month and is an important vehicle for Ford.

Ford Escapes from the 2013 model year that have 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines are not affected the recall and fire risk, Ford said.

Ford said an under-the-hood fire could happen due to an e ngine compartment fuel line that c ould split and leak fuel.

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Dealers were also told to stop selling 2013 Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6-liter engines until they are repaired.

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Ford said no injuries have been reported due to the issue.

"We have identified an issue and are taking quick actions in the best interest of our customers," said Ray Nevi, assistant director, Ford Automotive Safety Office.

"Our intensive investigation and testing has identified the area of concern and we are moving as quickly as possible to repair vehicles for our customers. In the meantime, it is extremely important that affected customers not ignore this recall and immediately contact their dealer."

The Escape with the 1.6-liter engine involved in the recall and with the problem were made through July 11, Ford said.