California Lemon Law News + Info

Ford’s Remedy For Expanded Fuel Injector Recall Investigated

Ford’s remedy for an expanded fuel injector recall is under federal investigation because the faulty component is not being replaced.

Recently, Ford expanded a recall to include 42,652 model year 2022–2023 Ford Bronco Sport and 2022 Ford Escape SUVs with 1.5-L engines because a cracked fuel injector can leak fuel or fuel vapor, leading to under-hood fires. Specifically, a cracked fuel injector allows fuel to leak at a high rate into the cylinder head, travel out via a drain hole and drip onto hot surfaces on the exhaust and/or turbo system.

The Ford recall under investigation is an expansion of the previous recall, which includes 521,746 model year 2020–2023 Ford Escape and 2021-2023 Ford Bronco Sport vehicles with 1.5-L engines.

The remedies under the original recall and the expanded recall are the same. The engine control software is updated to include detection of pressure drops in the fuel rail. When a pressure drop is detected, a “seek service” warning will appear in the instrument cluster, the high-pressure fuel pump will be disabled, the engine power output will be de-rated, and the temperatures of potential ignition sources in the engine compartment will be lowered.

At the same time, a drain tube will be installed. This drain tube will allow fuel to drain from the cylinder head hole to the ground, bypassing any possible ignition sources.

The problem with this remedy, according to the Office of Defects Investigation, is that it does not involve replacing the cracked fuel injector itself. The ODI, an arm of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will evaluate the adequacy and safety consequences of the current remedy for Ford’s cracked fuel injector recall.

Prior to ODI’s investigation, owners of affected Ford SUV models submitted complaints to NHTSA’s database. Some Ford SUV owners had to wait for recall repairs despite the fire risk.

“Upon receiving the notice that my Ford Bronco Sport was subject to a recall in February 2023, I called my local Ford dealer to schedule a service appointment. The dealer stated that FoMoCo is only supplying dealers with ‘2 repair kits per week’ and that they ‘could not provide an estimate’ on a wait time for getting the repair completed. It is now July 2023 and after reaching out to the dealer twice, they are still unable to provide an estimated wait or schedule an appointment.”

– NHTSA ID: 11530694,2022 Ford Bronco Sport,
July 6, 2023, (Prior to the expanded recall)

“The manufacturer (Ford) has failed to remedy the fuel injector safety recall (22S73)in a timely manner. Ford has prioritized repairing it’s unsold cars first rather than fixing the safety issue for customers who have already purchased vehicles. Despite receiving a notification in the mail stating that parts are now available, my local dealer has been unable to complete federally mandated repairs due to the parts being on backorder for an unknown time duration.”

– NHTSA ID: 11511492, 2022 Ford Bronco Sport,
March 13, 2023, (Prior to the expanded recall)

The following complaints took place after the affected Ford vehicles had recall repairs completed:

“Our brand new 2023 Ford Bronco Sport was destroyed by a spontaneous under-the-hood fire that occurred within thirty days of delivery and with less than 50 miles on the odometer. An independent examination found this consistent with a fuel injector fire. Ford Motor Company has publicly acknowledged similar problems with the Bronco Sport models and purportedly has recalled and ‘fixed’ all affected vehicles. We notified Ford of this incident, that the production and delivery dates of our Bronco Sport were well AFTER these recalls had been completed, and that the VIN of our Bronco Sport does NOT appear on Ford’s recall registry. In the overwhelming interest of public safety, we have urged Ford Motor Company to recover this vehicle and conduct its own investigation. Despite awareness and prior efforts by the Ford Motor Company to identify and correct defects in the design of the Bronco Sport, the catastrophic failure of our vehicle indicates a persistent problem and a significant ongoing consumer safety hazard. Ford Motor Company has not responded to our repeated requests and we are asking the NHTSA to conduct further inquiry.”

– NHTSA ID: 11566257, 2023 Ford Bronco Sport,
January 18, 2024 (Prior to the expanded recall)

“I began my drive from Miami, FL to SF, CA for my next travel nurse assignment. Three hours into my drive, I stop for gas and return to the highway. I remember accelerating to catch up to traffic and moving into the left lane. Then I remember abruptly seeing brake lights ahead, braking hard, and the collision warning system going off. I was braking for several seconds and it became clear to me that I was going to crash into the vehicle in front of me. Immediately upon impact, my Bronco Sport caught fire. I felt the heat. I smelled the fire and fumes. I saw people running towards me, yelling for me to get out of my burning car. The airbag went off and I sustained minor injury to my right hand. At that point, my priority was to locate my cat inside my perfectly packed vehicle with all of my most important possessions. I grabbed my cat, my phone, and my purse and escaped as flames overtook my SUV. The Nissan Rogue in front of me sustained some rear bumper damage but overall relatively minor exterior damages. I am in awe that what should have been a minor collision turned into escaping a burning car with my cat and watching my everything burn away. I struggle with PTSD from the accident. The Bronco was well-maintained. I had the recall repaired, along with oil change and tire rotation in November, prior to driving from Southern California to my home in Miami in early December. The vehicle was deemed a total loss by the insurance company. The insurance company did not choose to pursue any investigation on why this happened. I’ve tried to find answers and have not been successful. The Ford dealership where I purchased the Bronco has been less than helpful and even normalized that this happens sometimes. Four months later and I’m still waiting to get refunded for all the extra extended warranties that I bought for a vehicle that I planned on having for a long time. No one seems concerned that my car caught fire instantly. This should not have happened.”

– NHTSA ID: 11582599,
2022 Ford Bronco Sport, April 12, 2024

If your Ford’s issues haven’t been resolved after multiple repair visits to the dealership, or if your dealership hasn’t resolved your issues in a timely manner, you may be eligible for compensation under the California Lemon Law. Learn about your California Lemon Law rights, how recalls affect your lemon law case, and how lemon law compensation is calculated. If you’re having no luck with your local Ford dealership, contact our Ford lemon law attorneys for a free consultation.

Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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