DETROIT — Ford is recalling 7,600 new Escapes to fix coolant leaks that can cause engines to overheat or catch fire.
The recall affects 2013 models with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines. Plugs in the engine block might not have been installed properly and can fall out while the engine is running. Coolant can leak and cause engines to overheat.
Dealers have repair parts available, and owners should make service appointments as soon as possible, said Ford spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel.
Ford will fix the problem free of charge.
It’s the third recall in less than two months for the completely redesigned SUV, which also has had problems with fuel lines and carpet padding.
In July, the company recalled 11,500 Escapes to fix lines that can crack, leak and cause fires.
That same month, Ford said it would recall more than 10,000 of the vehicles to fix carpet padding that can interfere with braking.
Three recalls in two months shows there are quality problems with the new vehicle, said Clarence Ditlow, the executive director for the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group.
The recalls also show that Ford is responding quickly to problems and that they are not a sign of quality issues, Zwiebel said.
Ford issued the latest recall after getting a single report from a dealership, and no customers had filed complaints about the problem, she said.
The dealer reported that the fire broke out in an Escape driven by an employee. Coolant spilled onto hot engine parts and caused a fire that was quickly put out, Zwiebel said, adding that no one was hurt.
The engines on the recalled SUVs were built from Oct. 5, 2011, to Aug. 31, 2012, at a Ford factory in England.