Some 89,000 2013 Ford Escapes and Ford Fusions sold with 1.6-liter turbo engines that Ford warned last week should be parked because they could overheat and catch fire will get a software update that should solve the problem — one of the first instances of an automaker fixing a serious safety problem through software alone.
Ford says the software change will prevent the engines from losing coolant pressure, which the automaker says was the cause of overheating and two reported fires. Upgrading the vehicles' software will take about half a day at a dealership, although given how many cars were recalled, Ford says owners may be without their vehicles longer.
Dealers should begin getting the new software next week, a quick turnaround after Ford told owners to ask for loaner cars until it found a fix. Previous serious recalls have not hurt the reputation of other automakers who fixed their problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption to consumers — but with yet another recall on the Fusion announced last week, Ford may need to cool down the temper of its owners soon.