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Feds have ‘significant safety concerns’ about Ford fuel leak recall and demand answers about the fix



Ford recalls Maverick pickups in US because tail lights can go dark, increasing the risk of a crash
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DETROIT (AP) — Federal investigators say they’ve “vital security considerations” a couple of Ford SUV recall restore that doesn’t repair gasoline leaks that may trigger engine fires.

The U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration is demanding volumes of data from the automaker because it investigates the repair in a March 8 recall of practically 43,000 Bronco Sport SUVs from the 2022 and 2023 mannequin years, and Escape SUVs from 2022. All have 1.5-liter engines.

Ford says the SUVs have gas injectors that can crack, permitting gasoline or vapor to leak close to sizzling engine elements that may trigger fires, gas odors and an elevated threat of accidents.

In an April 25 letter to Ford launched Thursday, the company’s Workplace of Defects Investigation wrote that based mostly on its assessment of the recall repairs, it “believes that the treatment program doesn’t tackle the foundation explanation for the problem and doesn’t proactively name for the substitute of faulty gas injectors previous to their failure.”

Ford’s treatment for the leaks is so as to add a drain tube to ship the gasoline away from sizzling surfaces, and a software program replace to detect a strain drop within the gas injection system. If that occurs, the software program will disable the excessive strain gas pump, cut back engine energy and lower temperatures within the engine compartment. Homeowners additionally will get a “search service” message.

However within the 11-page letter to the automaker, the company asks Ford to element any testing it did to confirm the treatment resolved the issue and whether or not {hardware} repairs are wanted. It additionally asks the corporate to elucidate every other treatments that have been thought-about and any cost-benefit evaluation the corporate did when it picked the repair.

Security advocates have stated Ford is making an attempt to keep away from the price of changing the gas injectors and as a substitute go along with a less expensive repair that drains gasoline to the bottom.

A message was left Thursday searching for remark from Ford, which up to now has stated it’s cooperating within the investigation.

NHTSA is also asking ford to element how the software program will detect a gas strain drop, how a lot time elapses between cracking and detection, and what messages shall be despatched to the driving force. It additionally asks what impact disabling the high-pressure gas pump has on different gas system elements, and the way the SUVs will carry out when the pump is disabled.

The company additionally desires to know the way a lot gas will leak and whether or not the quantity complies with federal environmental and security requirements. And it desires to listen to Ford’s tackle “its obligations (authorized, moral, environmental and different) to stop and/or restrict gas leakage onto the roadway at any level throughout a car’s lifespan.”

Ford has to offer data to the company by June 21, the letter stated. Relying on the outcomes of its investigation, the company can search further repairs that repair the gas leaks.

The corporate has stated in paperwork that it has experiences of 5 under-hood fires and 14 guarantee replacements of gas injectors, however no experiences of crashes or accidents.

In a earlier e-mail, Ford stated it isn’t changing gas injectors as a result of it’s assured the recall repairs “will forestall the failure from occurring and defend the shopper.” The brand new software program triggers a dashboard warning gentle and permits prospects to drive to a secure location, cease the car and organize for service, the corporate stated. NHTSA paperwork filed by Ford say the issue occurs solely in about 1% of the SUVs.

The corporate additionally stated it can prolong guarantee protection for cracked gas injectors, so homeowners who expertise the issue will get replacements. Repairs are already accessible, and particulars of the prolonged guarantee shall be accessible in June, Ford stated.

The recall is an extension of a 2022 recall for a similar downside, in keeping with Ford. The restore has already been examined on autos concerned within the earlier recall, and Ford stated it’s not conscious of any issues.

The corporate additionally stated it isn’t recommending that the SUVs be parked solely open air as a result of there’s no proof that fires occur when autos are parked and the engines are off.

NHTSA stated in paperwork that within the 2022 recall, which lined practically 522,000 Bronco Sports activities and Escapes, Ford had the identical treatment as the newest recall.

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