Ford is recalling 142,734 Lincoln vehicles over a potential fire hazard and has advised owners to park outside until they can visit their dealership for repairs.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a battery monitor sensor in the affected vehicles can short circuit, causing the engine to catch fire even when the car is turned off. The issue is present in Lincoln MKC SUVs built between 2015 and 2019. Ford says it is aware of 19 instances where its products experienced under the hood fires, 11 of which occurred in the U.S.
The automaker expects to notify affected drivers before the end of the month, at which point dealers will be prepared to examine and fix the vehicles as needed. The repairs will consist of installing an in-line fuse onto the battery monitor power circuit, effectively preventing a short circuit from occurring. Until owners receive further instructions, Ford advises them to keep their Lincoln SUVs parked outside and away from buildings to limit the risk of property damage in the event of a fire.
Vehicle recalls remain a frequent occurrence, even as automakers, such as Ford, become better at identifying and preventing defects during manufacturing. This is why the NHTSA continues to be a valuable resource for protecting consumers, although its efficacy has been challenged as of late. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Transportation found a concerning pattern in how the agency handles its safety probes, noting that it regularly failed to close investigations in a reasonable time. The administration has also seen OEM push back on recalls, with one company flatly refusing to consider the NHTSA’s request in May. However, car manufacturers, by and large, are still subject to the organization’s regulatory strength. As automakers continue to launch new products with never-before-seen features, the industry will need to work even more closely with the government to ensure these vehicles are safe for drivers.