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NHTSA investigates Ford's EcoBoost V6 following two lawsuits

Problems with power loss, shuddering and stalling add to last year's recalls of the company's 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

By Exhaust Notes May 28, 2013 8:39AM
Ford's turbocharged EcoBoost engine, hit by two lawsuits earlier this month alleging power losses and stalling, is now under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the same problems.

The federal agency says it has received 95 complaints from owners of 2011-2013 F-150 pickups equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. The owners say the engine cut power during hard acceleration while they were trying to pass or merge at highway speeds.

According to NHTSA filings, Ford has issued three technical service bulletins to dealers regarding the EcoBoost engine's "intermittent stumble" and "misfire on acceleration from highway cruise in humid or damp conditions" on 2011-2012 models. Its most recent bulletin addresses replacing intercoolers that have accumulated moisture and reprogramming the powertrain control module, according to NHTSA.

In early May, three Ohio owners sued Ford for selling defective engines. One couple in a 2010 Taurus SHO claims the engine "lost power and stalled on multiple occasions" while an F-150 owner said he lost power while accelerating. One week later, two more F-150 owners filed a similar lawsuit in Louisiana alleging engine shudder and lost power.

The EcoBoost V6 is available in several other Ford models, including the Edge, Explorer, Flex, and Lincoln MKS and MKT. The NHTSA investigation covers about 400,000 F-150 pickups and has not been expanded to other models.

Last year, Ford recalled another EcoBoost engine three times after it debuted on the 2013 Escape. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder suffered from fuel line leaks, coolant leaks, engine overheating and reduced power. The 2013 Fusion, which shares this engine, was also part of the last EcoBoost recall in December. Ford's 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, featured on the base Edge, Taurus and Explorer, has not been affected. A new 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine is scheduled to debut in the 2014 Fusion later this year.

NHTSA is also looking at steering failures on 2008 Ford F-250 and F-350 pickup trucks after at least five owners said their vehicles had problems with the steering gear box that caused them to lose control.

[Source: NHTSA]
May 28, 2013 12:07PM
Issues & recalls are typical any time there is a new design put to market.  These lawsuits are always blown out of proportion by the lawyers...screwing whoever they can to make a buck.
May 28, 2013 12:17PM
Well, at least they didn't have to get bailed out. 
May 28, 2013 12:02PM
You would think that Ford would get out in front of this issue before it explodes in it's face.  All the recent success will be lost, over a slow response.  Ford needs to jump on this one, fast. 
May 28, 2013 12:14PM
Remember the days when you took your car to the dealer if you had a problem and they would adjust the carburators, change points and adjust valves and you were on your way.  Today, you just sue the automaker.
May 28, 2013 12:41PM
I find it a little hard to believe that there is that much of a problem, when they list only 95 complaints from F150 owners, and five people have filed lawsuits, (three from the same state, and probably same lawyer). So that is 100 customers, out of the more than 300,00 vehicles sold with the EcoBoost V6 engine since the first quarter of 2011...

That's like 0.0003 percent of the total vehicle production with that engine? 

Not bad, if you ask me!
May 28, 2013 10:53AM

I can't help but think that Ford's Ecoboost technology was rushed into production without being fully tested.  It happens everytime a manufacturer has been caught flat-footed with nothing to offer in a rapidly changing market.  The same thing happened to GM in the early 80's when they created that abominable diesel V8 by converting the gasoline powered 350.  It was rushed into production to meet demand without proper testing.  If it had, diesel may not have suffered the poor reputation it's had for lo these many years.

May 28, 2013 12:19PM
well i guess i can count my blessings 25000.miles and i haven't see one of these prob yet.I have had fords all my life never had a prob with any of them
May 28, 2013 12:09PM
ford mistakes ain't good for ford lovers
May 28, 2013 12:07PM

My daughter bought a brand new 2013 escape and her car lost power on the 1st trip we took with it.

Brought it back to dealer,have not had another issue with it but we will take care when driving this vehicle!

May 28, 2013 12:11PM
moisture can affect anything if not designed to withstand it .
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