About 73,000 Escapes and 16,000 Fusions have been recalled.
Even though Ford urged people to take their cars to dealers and get the loaners, only about 17,000 Escape and Fusion owners followed the advice, Ford said.
Ford offers the 1.6-liter engine in the Fiesta subcompact and on several models in Europe, but the cooling system controls are different and those vehicles don't have the problem, Ford said.
Safety advocates say that more than three recalls in a car's first year are a sign of quality problems. But Nair said all of the recalls are isolated incidents and don't mean the vehicles have reliability problems.
"We look at it as individual issues and determine the right thing to protect the customer," he said. "When a potential issue is identified, we act promptly on behalf of our customers."