• Ford is recalling 8,266 units of its 2013 Escape
  • An interior trim piece could interfere with the brake pedal
  • The recall began July 23, 2012

Ford recently issued its first recall for the freshly redesigned 2013 Escape compact SUV. The automaker and the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced the recall, which affects more than 8,000 vehicles in the US.

According to the NHTSA, incorrectly positioned carpet padding in the Escape's interior could cause a center console trim panel to become dislodged from its position. As a result, clearance around the SUV's pedals may be reduced, leading drivers to mistakenly contact the side of the brake pedal while moving from the accelerator. The government agency says this may lead to lengthened stopping distances and increase the risk of a crash.

Ford says it discovered the issue when an employee reported a concern relating to the space between the brake pedal and the problematic trim panel. The automaker says it has not yet received any reports of accidents or increased stopping distances on affected Escape models, which were manufactured at Ford's Louisville assembly plant from March 8, 2012, through June 7.

The automaker says it began mailing recall notices to owners of affected Escape units on July 23. The mailings urge drivers to bring the SUV in for service, where dealers will remove the carpet padding and trim panel and replace both with new parts that are unlikely to become dislodged during normal operation. While the recall notices will clearly detail the reason for the action and explain which vehicles are affected, owners with questions can call Ford at 1-866-436-7332 or the NHTSA's recall hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

The 2013 Escape marks the first year of the compact SUV's third generation. Featuring a sleeker design than its predecessors, the Escape offers shoppers a choice of three engines: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder carried over from the old model, a fuel-saving 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, and a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder designed to replace last year's V6. The 2013 Escape also offers several new convenience features including Ford's MyFord Touch infotainment system and an optional hands-free liftgate that lets drivers open the SUV's rear hatch by swinging a foot under the rear bumper.

What it means to you: If you own a 2013 Escape, be prepared to respond to the recall notice in your mailbox.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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