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Ford recalls over 140,000 Lincoln MKCs because of potential fire risk

Ford Motor said Friday that anyone with a Lincoln MKC from model years 2015-2019 should park their vehicle outside for now as the luxury SUVs may be prone to spontaneous fire in the engine compartment. 

The Michigan automaker said the MKC's battery monitor sensor, which is housed under the hood, is susceptible to damage when repairs are made to the vehicle's battery or other electrical parts. A short circuit could overheat all other materials around the sensor and cause a fire when the car is parked or while driving. The issue affects 142,522 vehicles, or 1% of MKCs on the road, Ford said. 

The company said it is aware of 19 reports of under-the-hood fires that could be related to the battery monitor sensor problem. Of those reports, 11 happened in the United States, seven in China and one in Canada. No accidents or injuries related to the sensor issue have been reported, the automaker said.

Ford said it has a fix for the issue and is sending instructions to Ford and Lincoln dealerships. MKCs will have a fuse line added to the battery monitor to prevent future overheating. 

Fires happened in parked vehicles

Ford first became aware of the monitor sensor issue in March, when the company received 18 reports of under-the-hood fires in vehicles in China and North America, it said in recall documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company investigated the issue in March, April and May and found that in all instances the fires happened when the vehicles were parked and the engine turned off. 

Ford said it plans to send letters to MKC owners by June 26 instructing them to park their vehicle outdoors and take it to a dealership for repairs. The company will reimburse consumers who already paid for repairs. The deadline for submitting receipts under that option is November 30. 

The MKC recall comes as the Michigan automaker is trying to remake itself by cutting costs, CEO Jim Farley said this month. Ford will emphasize software and services as well as iconic vehicles such as pickup trucks, large SUVs, commercial vehicles and advanced second-generation electric vehicles, Farley said. The company will also cut costs by reducing the number of parts in its vehicles.

Customers who are not able to park their vehicle outdoors should contact a local retailer or Ford's Customer Service Center at 1-833-807-3673 for further assistance.

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