Twelve of the fires occurred while the vehicle was parked and turned off, one while the vehicle was parked and turned on, and three while the vehicle was in motion, according to the company.
The exact cause of the fires, which are believed to have started in the rear passenger side of the engine compartment, is still being investigated, Ford said in a statement.
“We are working around the clock to determine the root cause of this problem and the subsequent solution so customers can continue to enjoy using their vehicles,” said Jeffrey Marentic, general manager, Ford Passenger Vehicles.
Owners are not advised to stop driving SUVs, only to keep them away from structures while parked.
Ford will begin contacting owners by mail and through its Ford and Lincoln smartphone apps as soon as it has determined a list of owners of these specific SUVs, the automaker said in a statement. Owners who think their vehicles might be involved can also call Ford toll-free at 1-866-436-7332, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees vehicle recalls.
Ford will contact customers once a solution to the potential problem has been found, the automaker said.