The recall covers Escapes from the 2001 to 2004 model years. Federal investigators have received 68 complaints, including 13 crashes, nine injuries, and the death of a 17-year-old Arizona girl in January. The affected SUVs have 3-liter V-6 engines with cruise control.
The cruise control cables can snag on the plastic cover atop the engine and cause the gas pedals to stick, Ford said. For the problem to happen, the pedals must be pushed to or near the floor, and the cruise control cables must have been bent or moved from their original position, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said.
Dealers will replace the fasteners on the engine cover, raising it so there's plenty of room for the cruise control cable. But it will take a few weeks to distribute the parts. In the meantime, Zwiebel said owners can take their vehicles to dealers, who can disconnect the cruise control and eliminate the risk.
There have been two other Escape recalls in the past two weeks involving 2013 models. A week ago Ford recalled 11,500 of the all-new 2013 models with 1.6-liter engines because the fuel lines can crack and leak gasoline, causing fires. A few days before that, it recalled 10,000 2013 Escapes to fix carpet padding that could interfere with braking.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.