Ford has issued a safety recall for models equipped with the 1.6 litre EcoBoost engine over a risk of under-the-bonnet fires, affecting 230,756 units of the 2014 Escape (known as the Kuga over here), 2014-2015 Fiesta ST, 2013-2014 Fusion (Mondeo) and 2013-2015 Transit Connect in North America.

The problem centres around a lack of coolant circulation, which could cause the engine to overheat. This can result in a cracked cylinder head, causing a pressurised oil leak – if the oil comes into contact with a hot engine surface, it increases the risk of a fire in the engine compartment.

So far, the issue has resulted in 29 reports of fire in the United States and Canada. Owners are still allowed to drive their vehicles, but are advised to see their dealer if the vehicle has a coolant leak, is overheating or needs to be topped up with coolant frequently.

They will also receive instructions from the owner’s manual in the mail, on how to check and refill coolant. Once service kits are available, dealers will install a coolant level sensor with supporting hardware and software changes, free of charge.

Over in Australia, the company is also recalling 4,450 units of the 2013-2014 Kuga as well as 400 units of the Fiesta ST over the same issue, according to CarAdvice. Ford Australia’s communication head Martin Günsberg told the publication that there have been seven reports of fire associated with the issue, although no injuries have been reported so far.

The American and Australian recalls come some two months after Ford South Africa recalled 4,500 units of the Kuga, again over a fire risk due to a lack of coolant circulation. Seeing as South African and Australian-market Kuga models come from the same Valencia plant in Spain as ours, we could see a recall being announced in Malaysia as well. Local distributor Sime Darby AutoConnexion is now investigating the matter to see if Malaysian-market models are affected.