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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ford Issues Recall for Almost 43,000 SUVs Over Fire Risk from Gas Leaks, But Solution Won’t Address Leaks


DETROIT ⁣— Ford ⁤has ⁢issued a recall for nearly 43,000‍ of its small ​SUVs due⁤ to a potential fire ‍risk.‌ The issue ⁤stems ⁤from the possibility ‌of ‍gasoline leaking from the fuel injectors‌ onto hot ⁤engine surfaces. However, the recall solution does ⁢not involve fixing the fuel leaks.

The recall pertains to‌ specific Bronco Sport SUVs from the 2022 and ⁣2023⁣ model years, as well ⁤as 2022 Escape SUVs. All ⁢the‍ affected vehicles are equipped with 1.5-liter engines.

According to documents submitted to U.S. safety regulators, Ford has identified that fuel injectors⁢ can crack, leading to gasoline or vapor accumulation near ignition sources. ⁢This could potentially ignite ‌fires.

As a ‍remedy, dealers will install a tube to direct gasoline away from hot surfaces, allowing it to flow to the ground beneath ​the vehicle.​ Additionally, they will update the engine control software to detect ​any pressure drop in the fuel injection system. If ​such a situation arises,‌ the software will disable the high-pressure​ fuel pump, reduce engine ⁤power, and ​lower engine‍ compartment temperatures. This information was made public on Wednesday via​ the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Vehicle ​owners were expected to receive notification letters starting April 1.

According​ to ⁢Ford’s documents, there have been five reported under-hood ⁢fires and 14 warranty ⁣replacements of fuel injectors. However, there have been no​ reports of accidents or ⁣injuries.

In a statement, Ford clarified that it is not⁢ replacing fuel injectors as⁢ it⁣ believes the recall​ repairs “will prevent the failure⁤ from occurring and protect the customer.” The updated software ​will also activate a dashboard warning light, enabling customers to drive to ‌a safe location, stop⁣ the vehicle, and arrange for service. Ford’s documents ‍indicate that ‍the problem only⁤ affects‍ about 1% of the SUVs.

Furthermore, Ford has announced that⁣ it will extend warranty coverage‌ for cracked fuel injectors. This means that owners who encounter this problem will⁢ receive​ replacements. Ford has confirmed⁢ that repairs are already available, and ⁤details of the extended warranty will be released in June.

This ⁣recall is an⁣ extension ⁤of a 2022 recall​ for the‌ same issue. The​ repair has‍ been tested on vehicles involved in the previous recall, and Ford has ‍reported no known issues.

Despite the potential ‌fire risk, Ford is not advising that the SUVs be parked exclusively outdoors‌ as there is no evidence to‌ suggest that fires occur when⁣ vehicles are parked with the engines off.

Michael ‌Brooks, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, criticized⁤ Ford’s solution⁣ for the fuel leaks as a “Band-Aid type recall.” He suggested that the company is trying to sidestep the cost of repairing the fuel injectors.

Brooks pointed⁤ out that a 1% failure rate is significant. Even with the proposed repairs, ⁣drivers could still be⁢ forced to exit a freeway at a low speed, potentially putting them at risk ‍of an accident.

He urged the safety administration​ to‍ do more to ⁤ensure recalls address the root ⁤causes of vehicle ⁤problems, rather than opting for less expensive repairs.

Previously, the safety board has stated that it does not have the legal authority to pre-approve recall fixes. However, ‌in a statement released on Wednesday, the agency said⁣ it ‍will‍ “closely track their ⁤performance using field data.” The agency advised owners with questions to contact their dealership​ or Ford.

Brooks called ​on‌ Congress to amend ⁢the law so the agency can ‍”require something more ⁢than the rubber stamp that⁢ NHTSA is currently deploying” ‍on recalls.

He noted that the​ agency has recently been⁣ more proactive in investigating recall fixes. “That is a post-remedy inquiry that won’t make ‌the fixes better, and further stretches out the process and leaves consumers in limbo,” he added.

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  1. Disagree – This is unacceptable. Customers deserve a solution that actually fixes the problem, not just a temporary band-aid. Ford needs to do better for the safety of its customers.

  2. Ford needs to prioritize customer safety and provide a real solution for the gas leak issue. This recall is not enough.


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