DETROIT - Ford is recalling nearly 485,000 Escapes and Mavericks to fix sticking gas pedals that can cause crashes.
The worldwide recall affects the 2001 through 2004 model years that are powered by 3-liter V-6 engines with cruise control. It comes just over a week after U.S. safety regulators began investigating the Escape small SUV.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 68 complaints about the problem, including 13 crashes, nine injuries and one death. A teenage girl died in the January crash of an Escape in Arizona.
Ford says the cruise control cables can snag on the plastic cover atop the engine and cause the gas pedals to stick. Dealers will replace the engine cover fasteners and raise the covers to make more room.
The issue was first brought to attention by a series of investigative reports our Scripps sister station, KNXV, in Phoenix.