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It’s safe to say that this hasn’t been a banner month for the Ford Escape brand. After a massive recall two weeks ago, that saw more than 423,000 Escapes manufactured between 2002 and 2004 declared defective due to a dangerous accelerator issue, Ford Motor Company has now also announced the recall of more than 7,600 brand new Escape SUVs due to coolant leaks that may lead to engine fires.

Third Time is the Charm

This latest recall of the 2013 Ford Escape SUV, announced on September 4, is actually the third since July. On July 2, Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of approximately 8,266 Escapes over manufacturing defect issues that dealt with the brakes and driver safety. The vehicles were ultimately recalled because of an issue with the carpeting, as the padding for the center console’s trim panel may have been positioned incorrectly, potentially interfering with the gas pedal and brake.

Additionally, 2013 Escape models were again recalled on July 18, this time due a defect in the fuel line. More than 9,300 vehicles were recalled because of the possibility of a fuel line split that could result in a fuel leak and fire. In both of the previous recall cases, Ford notified drivers of the potential defects and repaired the affected vehicles free of charge.

Not Cooling Off Yet

In the latest recall, the source problem is a manufacturing defect that could cause the cylinder head cup plug – AKA the freeze plug – to come loose, which could cause coolant to leak into the engine. This is problematic because loss of coolant can lead to the engine overheating. Because an engine can only run for so long without coolant, the driver would have to stop and shut the car off to avoid problems. This could become dangerous for the driver and those around him if the car is operating at a high speed on the freeway or on a high-traffic road.

A driver might also not recognize the signs of overheating right away and could continue operating the vehicle as the engine reaches excessive temperatures. If the coolant loss leads to overheating, the resulting engine damage could be significant, not only potentially causing an accident, but at the very least requiring unexpected expenses in repairing the engine.