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Ford recalls 527,000 Escape SUVs

Engine fires in 2001-2004 models linked to corrosion on antilock brake connectors.

escape_hybrid.01.jpg

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Ford is recalling 527,000 Escape sport-utility vehicles because of a problem in the antilock braking system that could cause fires, the company said Tuesday.

Missing or incorrectly installed wiring harness seals on the Escape's antilock brake connector could allow water and other contaminates such as brake fluid or road salt to enter the ABS connector causing corrosion.

The corrosion, in turn, could "lead to an illuminated ABS warning indicator, an open fuse, and in some rare instances smoking, melting or burning of the electrical ABS connector," the company said in a statement.

The recall affects 444,880 Escapes from the 2001-2004 model years in the U.S., as well as 82,000 Escapes in Canada, Mexico and Europe, Ford said.

The hybrid version of the Escape is not included in the recall, although the Mazda Tribute, which is essentially a twin of the Ford Escape, is being included, according to spokesperson Kristen Kinley.

Ford said there had been about no reported accidents or injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating the issue.

Ford, which competes with DaimlerChrysler and GM, owns a controlling stake in Mazda.

Under the recall, Ford dealers will inspect the antilock braking system for corrosion and replace it if necessary.

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