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New Ford recall- 43,000+ Vehicles affected, gas leak

Ford issues a recall for nearly 43,000 SUVs due to potential gas leaks posing fire hazards. The affected vehicles include certain Bronco Sport SUVs from the 2022 and 2023 model years, as well as Escape SUVs from 2022, all equipped with 1.5-liter engines. According to documents filed with U.S. safety regulators, fuel injectors in these SUVs are prone to cracking, leading to the accumulation of gasoline or vapor near ignition sources, which could trigger fires.

To address the issue, dealers will install a tube to redirect gasoline away from hot surfaces beneath the vehicle. Additionally, they will update the engine control software to detect pressure drops in the fuel injection system. If such a drop occurs, the software will disable the high-pressure fuel pump, reduce engine power, and lower engine compartment temperatures. Owners were set to receive notification letters starting April 1.

While Ford reports five under-hood fires and 14 warranty replacements of fuel injectors related to this issue, there have been no reported crashes or injuries. The company asserts confidence that the recall repairs will prevent failures and protect customers. The updated software will trigger a dashboard warning light, allowing drivers to safely pull over and arrange for service.

Ford states that only about 1% of the affected SUVs experience the problem. The company plans to extend warranty coverage for cracked fuel injectors, ensuring affected owners receive replacements. Repair services are already available, with details of the extended warranty to be provided in June.

This recall is an extension of a 2022 recall addressing the same issue. Ford has confirmed that they tested the repair on previously recalled vehicles and found no reported problems. Despite the recall, Ford does not recommend parking Bronco SUVs exclusively outdoors, as there’s no evidence of fires occurring when the vehicles are parked with the engines off.

However, some critics, such as Michael Brooks, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, view Ford’s remedy as insufficient. Brooks characterizes it as a “Band-aid type recall,” suggesting that the company is attempting to avoid the expense of repairing fuel injectors.
He contends that despite the proposed fixes, drivers might still encounter risks, like having to exit freeways at low speeds, potentially causing crashes.

Brooks calls for NHTSA to ensure that recalls address the root causes of vehicle problems rather than opting for less costly repairs. While NHTSA lacks the legal authority to pre-approve recall fixes, it intends to closely monitor their performance using field data. Consumers with questions are advised to contact their dealership or Ford.

Brooks urges Congress to amend laws to empower NHTSA to demand more comprehensive recall solutions. He criticizes NHTSA’s recent trend of investigating recall fixes post-implementation, describing it as a process that prolongs uncertainty for consumers without necessarily improving the fixes.