Ford Ecoboost engine recall – what you need to know

Ford says it will compensate owners of Ecoboost-engined cars after some suffer sudden engine failure and others burst into flames...

Ford Fiesta Hatchback (08 - 17)

The car maker has pledged to give full refunds to owners of some Ford models with 1.0 and 1.6 Ecoboost petrol engines after a number of cars had serious problems with overheating, which in some cases caused them to catch fire. 

The issue was highlighted by a BBC investigation, which discovered that “hundreds” of owners said their 1.0-litre Fords had overheated. They were also told about some 1.6 Ecoboost engines that had burst into flames while being driven. 

According to Ford, the problems are separate issues and relate to one of two safety recalls concerning its Ecoboost engines. 

What’s the problem with the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine? 

Ford says that 44,682 Ford cars with the three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre engine produced between October 2011 and October 2013 were fitted with a nylon coolant pipe between the engine and coolant tank that had the potential to fail at high temperatures. 

A Field Service Action was issued in March 2015 to replace the hoses, and 96% of cars were repaired. According to Ford, the issue was not treated as a safety recall by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency because a dash warning light should come on if the car starts to overheat, giving drivers advance warning that there is a problem. 

Ford states that it has already made “substantial contributions to the cost of 1.0-litre repairs, but ongoing discussions with customers show that Ford needs to go further to ensure reasonable repair costs are covered”.

What’s the problem with 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine? 

A separate problem with the larger engine involves “localised overheating of the engine cylinder head” which could “cause the cylinder head to crack. This may cause a pressurised oil leak, which in extreme circumstances could result in a fire in the engine compartment.” 

This time, a safety recall was issued in January 2018 to rectify the issue on 15,200 vehicles. The work involves replacing affected parts of the engine and cooling system and adding a coolant level sensor with audible and visual warnings for the driver. 

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Which models are affected? 

The 1.0-litre engine recall only concerns the Focus. However, the 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine has been fitted to a range of Ford models, including the C-Max, Fiesta, Focus ST and Kuga since 2010, so this recall covers all four of these models.  

Is Ford compensating owners of affected cars? 

With the potential for affected cars to be up to eight years old, there are likely to be some that don’t have full main dealer service history. So, until the BBC investigation, Ford was basing its contribution to the cost of repairs to affected cars on the mileage of the cars and how complete their service history was. 

However, after the investigation highlighted that a number of owners had been forced to pay for the repairs to their cars, Ford has now decided to cover the cost of 100% of repairs, including giving refunds to owners who have already paid. 

In a statement, Ford said: “With any future cases, subject to being assessed and linked to potential 1.0-litre engine overheating, we will contribute 100% of the cost of repair at a Ford dealer. Furthermore, we will re-examine previous cases to ensure that this policy of a 100% contribution to the repair cost is applied consistently.”

What should you do if you think your car is affected? 

If you own a car with a 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, you can either contact your local Ford dealer or get in touch with Ford via its website  

If you own a 1.6-litre-engined model, you can also use the DVSA’s online vehicle recall checker

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