Ford Motor Co.'s popular Escape small SUV has been among the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. for years, but the older models and a brand-new version have been recalled three times in the past two weeks. A look the safety problems that caused the recalls:
— July 14: Ford recalls more than 10,000 all-new 2013 Escapes because carpet padding can interfere with braking. The padding can cut into space around the pedals and cause drivers to hit the side of the brake pedal when switching from the accelerator. Dealers will remove the padding and replace a console trim panel at no charge.
— July 19: The 2013 Escape is recalled a second time, but this time the company tells people not to drive them because of a fire danger. The recall covers 11,500 Escapes in which the fuel lines can crack and leak. The problem affects only Escapes with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines. Owners will get loaner cars and dealers will replace the parts for free.
— July 26: Ford recalls nearly 485,000 of older Escapes and Mavericks worldwide because the gas pedals can stick. They're from the 2001-2004 model years and are completely different from the 2013 models. The old Escapes have 3-liter V-6 engines, and they're called Mavericks in Europe. The cruise control cable can get caught in the plastic engine cover. Dealers will install new fasteners on the engine cover so there's more room for the cable.