Ford Recalls 143,000 Lincoln SUVs for Engine Fires, Reports May Sales

Ford will be sending recall notices later this month to 142,734 owners of Lincoln MKC SUVs built between 2015 and 2019. The company has identified a problem that may cause a fire under the hood, whether the vehicle is parked or moving. (These are the most fuel-efficient new sport utility vehicles.)

According to the recall notice posted Thursday, a misplaced battery monitor sensor may be “susceptible to damage when the battery or related electrical components are serviced.” If the sensor’s housing is damaged, the circuit board controlling the sensor may experience an electrical short. Because the sensor does not have a fuse, the electrical load may “overheat surrounding material.” Ford’s investigation concluded that the lack of a fuse creates a “risk of underhood fire, including while the vehicle is parked and off.”

As of May 15, Ford had received 19 “potentially related” reports of underhood fires, including seven since December claiming that the vehicle was parked and off. No physical injuries as a result of this defect have been reported to the company.

To correct the problem, Ford will install an in-line fuse to the sensor’s power circuit. Of the 142,734 vehicles subject to the recall, the company estimates that just 1% have the defect. If the defect is caused at the time of service, however, that implies that every one of those SUVs is at risk.

Ford also released sales data for May and for the year to date on Friday morning. Sales of Ford and Lincoln vehicles in May totaled 170,933, up 10.7% month over month. For the first five months of 2023, sales of 830,841 vehicles are 8.8% higher than 2022 sales for the same period.

Sales of the best-selling F-Series pickups are up 42.7% month over month and 28.5% year over year. Sales total 310,538 units so far in 2023. The all-electric F-150 Lightning accounted for 1,707 sales in May, up from 201 in April. Year to date, sales of the Lightning total 7,333, compared with just 459 in 2022.

Ford’s SUV sales were down 9.7% month over month in May, with the 43.7% drop in sales of the Mustang Mach-E leading the decline. Sales of the Mustang EV are down 36.8% year over year. The company’s large Expedition SUV has posted a sales gain of 52.7% month over month in May, and sales are slightly more than double in the first five months of 2023, compared to the same period of last year.

Lincoln’s replacement for the MKC SUV that is being recalled is the Corsair. Sales of the SUV fell 3.1% month over month in May and are down 42% year over year.  The starting price for a Corsair is around $39,000. In May of last year, the Corsair was Lincoln’s best-selling vehicle. This year, the Lincoln Nautilus, priced starting at around $52,000, is selling the most units, even though sales have fallen by 3.3% year over year.

As with the Ford Expedition, volume growth is limited to the high-end, large Lincoln Navigator SUV, which has a starting price of almost $80,000. Navigator unit sales total 7,184, up 69% year over year.

Overall, Lincoln sales were down 14.4% month over month and are down nearly 11% year over year.

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