Ford said Monday it has found a way to prevent overheating and potential engine fires in 2013 Ford Fusions and Escapes equipped with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.
The automaker issued a voluntary recall of SE and SEL models of both vehicles on Nov. 30 and has been working to pinpoint the problem and find a workable solution.
Ford will make updates to the cooling system software to better manage engine temperatures. Under certain operating conditions the original design of the cooling system was subject to a loss of pressure and the subsequent overheating led to reports of 13 fires.
Drivers who experienced fires said their instrument clusters had the message "Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps" or "Engine over temp, stop safely." Some experienced a warning chime and saw a red light come on. Should any of these happen, motorists are advised to pull off the road, turn off the engine and get out of the car.
The software and repair procedure is being delivered to dealers who should be ready to make the fixes starting next week.
Ford will begin notifying customers to make service appointments. The repairs will require about half a day.
Dealers have been providing customers with free loaner cars since the recall was announced.
"We remain absolutely committed to continuously improving and providing the highest-quality vehicles to our customers. When a potential issue is identified, we act promptly on behalf of our customers, as we did this time," said Raj Nair, head of global product development, in a statement.