Ford is advising the owners of 39,013 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs to park their vehicles outdoors because they could spontaneously catch fire.
The specific full-sized SUVs in question were all built during a four-month period between December 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021, according to a Ford statement on Thursday. So far, 16 of the SUVs have caught fire while parked and turned off. Fourteen of the vehicles were in rental fleets while two were owned by retail customers. The automaker said it is aware of one injury apparently resulting from the issue, but provided no further details about the extent of the injury or its circumstances.
Twelve of the fires happened while the vehicle was parked and turned off, one while the vehicle was parked and turned on and three while it was in motion, according to the company.
The exact cause of the fires, which are believed to start in the rear passenger side of the engine compartment, is still being investigated, Ford said in an announcement.
“We are working around-the-clock to determine the root cause of this issue and subsequent remedy so that customers can continue to enjoy using their vehicles,” said Jeffrey Marentic, General Manager, Ford Passenger Vehicles.
Owners are not being advised to stop driving the SUVs, only to keep them away from structures while parked.
Ford will begin reaching out to owners by mail and through their Ford and Lincoln smartphone apps as soon as it has determined a list of the owners of these specific SUVs, the automaker said in a statement. Owners who think their vehicles might be involved can also call Ford’s toll-free number at 1-866-436-7332, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees vehicle recalls.
Ford will communicate with customers once a remedy for the potential problem has been found, the automaker said.