NHTSA reopened an investigation into defects in gasoline-powered Ford Focus models that had been thought to be resolved with a 2018 recall.
The recall affected cars built between model year 2012 and between April 13, 2017 for 2.0-liter GDI engines and up to Feb. 2, 2018 for 2.0-liter GTDI turbocharged engines. The issue was thought to be resolved, but now 2018 model year vehicles that were not included in the recall are showing the same symptoms.
The NHTSA code for the recall is 18V-735 or sometimes written as 18V735000 (Fuel System, Gasoline), and included 1,282,596 Ford Focus vehicles. According to NHTSA documentation, the “recall addressed engines that were experiencing a malfunctioning Canister Purge Valve (CPV) and Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software that was not adequately detecting a stuck open CPV.
A malfunctioning CPV can disrupt the engine’s fuel to air ratio leading to loss of motive power. It can also cause a Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), erratic fuel gauge readings, and excessive vacuum in the fuel vapor management system potentially deforming the fuel tank.”
A new report
“Following Recall 18V-735, Ford issued another safety recall (NHTSA Recall 19V-515) that included updates to the PCM software. The affected population were vehicles included in Recall 18V-735 that had already had the recall remedy implemented. Affected vehicles did not have the PCM updated with new software meant to detect a malfunctioning CPV,” the NHTSA report states.
At this time, NHTSA has reopened the issue after receiving 98 more consumer complaints that the same failure has occurred in vehicles that were fixed in the first two recalls or were built later and thus not part of those recalls.
As an example, one consumer complaint reads:
“The contact owns a 2018 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 60 MPH, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to pull over and restarted the vehicle. The contact stated she was not aware of any warning lights being illuminated. The contact stated that the vehicle also stalled at slower speeds, and there were times when the vehicle failed to restart.”
In this case, the 2018 Focus had not been subject to the initial recalls but has been diagnosed with the same problem. With the growing number of failures, it seems likely a new recall will be issued to correct the problem on newer Focus models.