BUSINESS

Ford to update Fusion, Escape software to fix coolant problem that can cause fires

12/10/2012 01:06 EST | Updated 02/09/2013 05:12 EST
DEARBORN, Mich. - Ford Canada will update software on 2013 Escape SUVs and Fusion cars to fix a coolant problem that can cause fires.

Last month the automaker recalled about 91,500 of the vehicles, including some 9,850 in Canada, after getting complaints about overheating and fires. It urged owners to get loaner cars from dealers until Ford found a fix. Only vehicles with 1.6-litre turbocharged engines are affected.

Among the recalled vehicles in Canada, about 6,350 Escapes are in customer's hands and about 200 Fusions.

Ford Product Development Chief Raj Nair says the problem happens when a coolant doesn't flow through the radiator to be cooled. That is because a valve is out-of-sync with the thermostat. Overheated coolant can blow gaskets and leak onto hot exhaust parts.

The problem has caused nine fires. Nair says the software change will fix the problem.

So far only about 17,000 customers have taken their cars to dealers.