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NHTSA Launches Ford Investigation Over Fuel Leak Risks

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  June 20, 2024

The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) has launched a federal investigation into potential issues with certain Ford Super Duty trucks. This probe focuses on the 2015-2021 model years of the F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 Super Duty trucks equipped with 6.7-liter diesel engines. 

Learn more about what the NHTSA’s investigation entails below.

 

Why Is the NHTSA Investigating Ford Super Duty Trucks? 

There have been multiple complaints about diesel fuel leaks in Ford trucks. At least 27 customers reported issues, citing fractures in the secondary fuel filler housing as the root cause. Additionally, 12 complaints have described engine compartment fires, leading to four reported injuries.

The NHTSA is concerned because the secondary fuel filter is located near high-heat sources, which can cause thermal events and subsequent fires if a fuel leak occurs.

 

What Are the Reported Problems?

According to the NHTSA’s findings, the low-pressure fuel systems in these vehicles can operate at up to 8.5 Bar (123 PSI), but the second fuel filter used in their manufacture is only tested to withstand a maximum of 7 Bar (101.5 PSI). This mismatch between the filter’s design specifications has raised red flags about the potential fuel leaks and associated fire hazards. 

The NHTSA has contacted Ford and the filter manufacturer, Allevard Sogefi USA, for more information on this discrepancy.

 

Which Ford Models Does This Affect?

The NHTSA’s investigation covers approximately 210,960 Ford trucks from the 2015-2021 model years, including: 

  • Ford F-250 Super Duty
  • Ford F-350 Super Duty
  • Ford F-450 Super Duty
  • Ford F-550 Super Duty

2022 model-year trucks don’t have the same problem, suggesting that a change in the manufacturing process may have fixed the issue.

 

What Is Ford’s Solution?

In response to the NHTSA’s investigation, Ford has issued a recall for the affected vehicles. The fix includes adding a drain tube to divert leaking fuel and a software update to detect fuel pressure drops. If a drop is detected, the system will disable the high-pressure fuel pump to reduce engine power and temperature.

However, the NHTSA has serious concerns about this fix’s effectiveness. In a letter to Ford, the agency questioned whether this solution addresses the root cause and suggested hardware repairs, like replacing defective fuel injectors, might be needed.

The NHTSA has requested detailed information from Ford on testing the recall remedy and any other solutions considered. They also want to know how turning off the high-pressure fuel pump affects the fuel system’s performance.

 

Does the California Lemon Law Apply in This Situation?

California’s lemon law protects owners who have purchased or leased a “lemon” with persistent, unresolved issues affecting its use, value, or safety. Ford Super Duty trucks under investigation for potential fuel leaks and fire hazards may qualify as lemons if certain criteria are met.

To be eligible, your vehicle must have a “substantial defect” covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, and the owner must have made reasonable attempts to repair the issue. If the manufacturer fails to fix the problem, the owner may be entitled to a replacement or a refund.

 

Faulty Ford On Your Hands? Contact Our California Lemon Law Firm Today!

If you own a 2018 or newer Ford Super Duty truck and have experienced a fuel leak, it’s important to get legal advice. Norman Taylor & Associates, a trusted California lemon law firm, can help you understand your rights and options. 

Call 818-244-3905 or contact us today for a FREE consultation!

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