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Federal authorities express serious safety worries regarding Ford’s fuel leak recall and request detailed explanations about the remedy

Ford Logo (Via Jason Morison/Shutterstock)

Federal investigators express serious concerns about the effectiveness of Ford’s SUV recall repair, which does not address gasoline leaks that could lead to engine fires.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking for extensive information from Ford as it examines the recall issued on March 8 for nearly 43,000 Bronco Sport SUVs from the 2022 and 2023 models, as well as 2022 Escape SUVs, all equipped with 1.5-liter engines.

According to Ford, these vehicles have fuel injectors prone to cracking, which can cause gas or vapor leaks near hot engine parts, potentially resulting in fires, fuel odors, and an increased risk of injuries.

In a letter dated April 25 and made public on Thursday, the agency’s Office of Defects Investigation stated that, based on its assessment of the recall repairs, it believes the current remedy does not address the root cause of the problem and does not proactively replace faulty fuel injectors before they fail.

Ford’s approach to fixing the leaks involves installing a drain tube to redirect gasoline away from hot areas and implementing a software update to detect pressure drops in the fuel injection system.

A Ford sign is shown at a dealership (Via Abel Solomon/Getty Images)

If a drop is detected, the software will deactivate the high-pressure fuel pump, reduce engine power, and lower temperatures in the engine compartment. Owners will also receive a notification to seek service.

However, in its detailed letter to Ford, the agency requests information on any testing conducted to verify the effectiveness of the remedy and whether any hardware replacements are necessary.

Additionally, the agency asks Ford to explain alternative solutions that were considered and to provide a cost-benefit analysis for choosing the current fix.

Safety advocates argue that Ford’s chosen solution may prioritize cost savings by avoiding the replacement of fuel injectors and opting instead for a less expensive fix that simply drains fuel to the ground.

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