Regulator says Ford SUV recall remedy doesn’t fix the problem

NHTSA tells Ford is recall remedy for Bronco and Escape SUVs is inadequate - ConsumerAffairs

NHTSA says the vehicles still face a fire risk

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has told Ford that its recall remedy for SUVs with a fuel leak is inadequate and that the cars still pose a risk.

In April, Ford issued an expansion of a recall of nearly 43,000 2022-2023 Bronco Sports and 2022 Escapes with 1.5L engines. The problem was the fuel injector, which the company said may crack and leak fuel inside the engine compartment - an obvious fire risk.

To address the problem, Ford said its dealers would update the engine control software to include fuel injector leak detection and install a drain tube. In a letter to the automaker, NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigations (ODI) said that isn’t good enough.

‘Does not address the root cause’

“Based on our review of the alleged defect, the resulting consequences, and the recall’s remedy program, ODI believes that the remedy program does not address the root cause of the issue and does not proactively call for the replacement of defective fuel injectors prior to their failure,” the letter states. “Therefore, ODI has decided to investigate the adequacy and various safety concerns of the remedy program described in NHTSA Recall 24V-187.”

The NHTSA said a safer remedy would be to replace all fuel injectors that are subject to leaks, which would be safer, but much more costly than simply installing a drain tube. The agency  said Ford’s failure to respond to the letter or take the prescribed actions could result in civil penalties.

Ford acknowledged the letter and said it would work with NHTSA to seek a resolution.

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