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Ford Escapes Recalled For Balky Engine

DETROIT, April 13, 2004; Reuters reported that Ford Motor Co. is recalling 363,440 of its compact Escape sport utility vehicles to fix what the automaker described on Tuesday as an intermittent engine stalling problem.

Most of the vehicles affected by the recall are from the 2001, 2002 and early 2003 model years and were sold in North America with 3.0 liter V-6 engines, Ford said.

It said about 41,440 were sold outside North America, however, including Europe.

The second-largest U.S. automaker said the stalling problem tends to occur during vehicle deceleration at speeds below 40 miles per hour.

Ford said it had received reports of eight alleged minor accidents stemming from the problem, three of which included allegations of minor injuries.

Despite the reports, Ford said engine stall on the Escapes posed "no unreasonable risk of accident or injury."

All three of Detroit's automakers have claimed dramatic quality improvements in recent years, but they continue to be hit by a disproportionately high number of vehicle recalls.