Ford recalls 440K vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble

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Separately, the expanded recall covers 210,619 vehicles to fix a tab in the side door latch that could break, potentially causing the door to swing open while driving. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Ford said the $295 million charge would be absorbed mainly by its North America and Europe business units and would be included in first-quarter results.

Affected models include the 2014 Ford Escape, 2014-2015 Ford Fiesta ST, 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and the 2013-2015 Ford Transit Connect with a 1.6 liter GTDI engine. In Europe, the recall covers the 2010 through 2015 C-Max hybrid and Focus small auto, and the 2013 through 2015 Transit Connect van. That could result in an oil leak that could ignite a fire.

Ford is aware of 29 reports of fire associated with this issue in the United States and Canada.

Ford will first send affected owners literature regarding checking and refilling coolant.

The overheating could cause a crack in the cylinder head, leading to an oil leak, Ford said.

If parts are available, dealers will install a coolant level sensor and a warning light on the dashboard telling owners if the coolant level is low, Weigandt said.

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Company officials are identifying a "lack of coolant circulation" as the culprit with those models.

The Dearborn automaker had previously recalled almost 4 million vehicles for door latch issues in six separate recalls since 2014, including 2.4 million vehicles recalled in late 2016.

Ford Motor Company is expanding a previously announced safety recall regarding door latches to include approximately 211,000 more vehicles. The expansion brings the total from the 2015 recall to almost 757,000. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in 2015 it had 1,102 reports related to the problem and Ford said it had 10,883 warranty claims related to door latch failures.

In May 2014, Ford recalled 692,700 Escape SUVs from the 2013-2014 model years because their doors didn't latch properly.

Ford isn't aware of any accidents or injuries in the three other recalls.

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