Ford is recalling 527,000 Escape sport-utility vehicles sold in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe because of a problem in the antilock braking system that could cause fires.

However, less than five of the affected vehicles are in the UK, according to a Ford spokesman here.

Missing or incorrectly installed wiring harness seals on the Escape's antilock brake connector could allow water and other contaminates such as brake fluid or road salt to enter the ABS connector causing corrosion, a CNNMoney.com report said.

The corrosion, in turn, could "lead to an illuminated ABS warning indicator, an open fuse, and in some rare instances smoking, melting or burning of the electrical ABS connector," the automaker said in a statement cited in the report.

Citing Ford, CNNMoney.com said the recall affects 444,880 2001-2004 model year Escapes in the US, as well as 82,000 in Canada, Mexico and Europe.

The European version of the Escape is called the Maverick. A Ford UK spokesman told just-auto "several thousand" Mavericks had been sold here in the UK but "less than five" would be affected by the recall.

The Escape Hybrid is not included in the recall, although the Mazda Tribute, essentially a twin of the Escape, is being included, Ford US spokesperson Kristen Kinley told CNNMoney.com.

Ford US reportedly said there had been about no reported accidents or injuries and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had been investigating the issue.