Ford Authority

New Lawsuit Claims Modern Ford Hybrids Remain Unsafe

Back in June, FoMoCo issued a recall for select 2020-2023 Ford Escape, 2022-2023 Ford Maverick, and 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair models equipped with 2.5L hybrid or plug-in hybrid engines over an engine fire risk. This recall expanded upon and replaced another recall issued in July 2022, but The Blue Oval has yet to come up with a solution to the problem, which is caused by engine oil and fuel vapors that can be released into the engine compartment if the powerplant fails. A class-action lawsuit was filed over the problem shortly after the first recall was issued, but was dismissed by a judge this past April. Now, another lawsuit has been filed claiming that these modern Ford hybrids remain unsafe, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Ford Maverick Hybrid Argentina - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

This new lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by the owners of six Ford hybrids who claim that the automaker’s initial proposed fix for this problem – adding drain holes to an under-hood shield and changing the active grille shutters to allow more air flow and reduce under-hood temperatures – is inadequate. The lawsuit also claims that these engines are prone to seizing up, which shatters the connecting rods and bearings and sends them through the oil pan or engine block – conditions that could lead to a fire.

Thus far, roughly two dozen known fires have occurred in these Ford hybrids, including those belonging to two of the six plaintiffs in this new lawsuit – both of whom owned Escape hybrid models that burst into flames. Regardless, Ford remains adamant that these fires were caused when owners continued to drive their vehicles after the engine failed, which it has instructed them not to do until it can come up with a suitable fix.

“As we indicated in our submission to the federal regulator, we expected the initial repair to be effective, but continued to monitor the performance of the vehicles and reacted responsibly as facts developed,” Ford spokeswoman Maria Buczkowski said in response to the new lawsuit. “We’ve now learned that some customers continued to drive on the alternative hybrid electric system even after an engine block breach, and so we are notifying customers to park the vehicle if what’s known as a ‘block breach’ occurs. Our team is working earnestly to resolve the issue and meet the needs of our customers.”

We’ll have more on this and all Ford Motor Company lawsuits soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford lawsuit news, Ford Maverick news, Ford Escape news, Lincoln Corsair news, and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Lee Balou

    “Engine block breach?!” I get recalls for things like new electronics or gadgets that go bad. I can even accept a bad batch of nuts or bolts. But a block breach simply should not happen on a modern vehicle.

    WTF is wrong in Dearborn? It seems like the quality of Fords just continues to get worse.

  2. Doug Perrenoud

    The legal issue isn’t that some vehicles’ engines explode – that has been a rare but not uncommon problem with IC cars since they were first invented. The issue is that if the engine DOES explode, the resulting oil and/or gas splatter can catch fire on the exhaust manifold or other hot engine parts causing an engine fire. It is the fire risk that is driving the recall, not the engine damage (which will usually be covered underwarranty, unless it is because the customer was running the engine with no oil). I’m curious to know what is driving these recent engines to self destruct, seeing as they have been making this same basic Atkinson-cycle engine (with some changes in displacement) for almost 20 years with relatively few problems. It sounds to me like something is causing the engines to dump/deplete their oil, which is then leading to the engines throwing a rod. I expect the fix to involve tying in an oil pressure monitor to the ECM to shut down the engine if it has low oil pressure. But that is just my best guess.

  3. Shockandawe

    Furds and fire go together like peanut butter and jelly!

  4. Ford Owner

    I have seen VW Beetles and japanese cars on fire several times. So the problem is gasoline, and the engines that burn it. As for electric fires, I have read and seen videos of Tesla cars. I have not seen any Ford fires. BTW, my car is a 2014 Fusion Hybrid which only had two problems, none related to the power train or its HV battery.

  5. Cigna

    I wish the plaintiffs of the lawsuit the best of luck, whatever settlement they agree to (hopefully its huge) should come out of Failure Farley’s paycheck, as many years as it takes.


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