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Ford, Lincoln vehicles recalled due to engine fire risk

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2023 | Product Liability

Gasoline-powered cars work by burning fuel, but that doesn’t mean they’re impervious to accidental fires.

Ford Motor Company has issued a recall of 125,322 vehicles over a potential fire risk. According to a release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there’s a risk that the 2.5-liter HEV/PHEV engines of the affected vehicles could prematurely fail. When the engine fails, oil or fuel vapor could release into the vehicle’s parts that ignite the fuel, resulting in under-the-hood fires, melting of parts and smoke.

The recall affects Ford Escapes from the 2020-2023 model years, Ford Mavericks from the 2022-2023 model years, and Lincoln Corsairs from the 2021-2023 model years.

The dangers of engine fires

Vehicle fires may not sound as dangerous as house fires, especially considering the size differences, but they can be deadly for relatively “small” blazes. Statistics say about 600 people are killed and 1,200 firefighters are injured from motor vehicle fires yearly. Motor vehicle fires are also quite common; figures suggest that one out of five fires in the U.S. involves a motor vehicle.

Motor vehicle fires can expose drivers and passengers to the following risks:

  • Burns: Vehicle fires, like house fires, can reach temperatures over 1,500 degrees. For context, water boils at 212 degrees, and most food cooks at less than 500 degrees. Such temperatures can lead to third or even fourth-degree burns. The heat radiating from a burning vehicle can also reach 10 feet.
  • Chemical exposure: Burning vehicles could cause hazardous materials such as battery acid to leak. These chemicals can injure people on top of the risk posed by the fire. The fires also produce toxic gases like carbon monoxide, which can kill people who breathe in too much of the fumes.
  • Shrapnel: The extreme heat from a burning vehicle can cause some auto parts to burst, sending shrapnel flying that can injure nearby people. Parts that can explode during a fire include axles, bumper and hatchback struts, driveshafts, some engine parts and magnesium wheels.

The cost to treat injuries associated with these risks can easily reach thousands of dollars.

Filing a lawsuit for an engine fire

If a defect in the engine led to a fire that injured you, you could file a defective motor vehicle lawsuit against the car manufacturer for compensation. But car companies can challenge such cases in court, using their vast resources to defend themselves aggressively. If your case is taken to court, consider hiring a lawyer. Not only can a lawyer ensure that you win proper compensation, but they can also pursue punitive damages against the car manufacturer to ensure that the same mistake will not happen again.