DETROIT — Ford is expanding a recall of SUVs and telling owners to park them outside after a series of engine fires that can happen even when the ignitions are off.
In May Ford recalled about 39,000 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs in the U.S. and told owners to park them outdoors and away from buildings.
On Friday the company expanded that recall to cover more than 66,000 SUVs after getting reports of five more fires. It involves vehicles built between July 27, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2021.
“Ford believes the cause of these vehicle fires can be traced to a change in manufacturing location by a supplier during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ford said in a statement. “Printed circuit boards produced at this facility are uniquely susceptible to a high-current short and were supplied to Ford and installed in Expedition and Navigator SUVs produced during the recall window.”
So far, Ford has received 21 reports of under-hood fires. That includes five since the original May recall. There has also been one reported injury.
Eighteen of the vehicles were owned by rental companies.
Ford said it has sent repair procedures to dealers and “is working quickly” to make parts available.
“Dealers will first inspect the battery junction box for melting damage, and if so, will replace the entire component,” Ford said. “They will then remove the engine fan ground wire from the battery junction box in affected vehicles with an 800-watt cooling fan system, which represents about one-third of the recalled vehicle population. This repair can be done immediately. For the remaining affected vehicles with a 700-watt cooling fan system, the repair is the same, except for the installation of an auxiliary box with a wire jumper. Parts for this repair are expected to be available starting in early September. Customers will be notified via FordPass today, with follow-up communication to customers of vehicles with 700-watt systems when parts are available.”
The Associated Press and Travis Pittman contributed to this report.