NHTSA Open Probe Into 210,960 Ford Super Dutys For Fuel Leaks

Diesel Fuel Leaks May Result In Fire...

2017 Ford F-250 XLT SuperCrew FX4. (Ford).

In a recent development shaking up the automotive industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated a preliminary evaluation of approximately 211,000 Ford vehicles amid alarming complaints regarding potential diesel fuel leaks. The probe, announced on Friday, targets a range of Ford Super Duty trucks equipped with 6.7-liter diesel engines spanning model years 2015 to 2021.

According to the NHTSA, the investigation stems from a string of 27 complaints, notably including 12 reports of fires and four documented cases of injuries. The agency has honed in on a specific culprit: a fracture within the vehicles’ secondary fuel filter. This fracture, situated perilously close to high-temperature sources within the engine bay, raises concerns about auto-ignition thermal events and subsequent fires.

The NHTSA states, “A fracture in the secondary fuel filter in the vehicles could result in a fire,” illustrating the gravity of the situation. The agency has underscored the potential risk posed by the filter’s proximity to heat sources, highlighting the urgency of the investigation.

2020 Ford F-250 King Ranch SuperCrew. (Ford).

The regulatory body has wasted no time contacting Allevard Sogefi USA, the manufacturer of the problematic component. Insights from this interaction revealed a critical detail: the secondary fuel filter is tested at reduced pressure levels during manufacturing. This factor may contribute to its vulnerability in real-world conditions.

In response to the NHTSA’s probe, Ford has expressed its commitment to collaborating with the agency to facilitate the investigation process. However, Allevard Sogefi USA’s parent company, Sogefi, has yet to provide commentary on the unfolding situation.

It’s crucial to note that the NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation marks the initial phase in determining the extent of safety risks posed by the affected vehicles. While the agency retains the authority to close the investigation without further action, the severity of the reported incidents underscores the importance of a thorough examination.

In a related development, the NHTSA raised significant safety concerns regarding Ford’s recall of over 42,000 SUVs due to fuel leak apprehensions. Despite Ford’s proposed remedy involving an engine control software update and the installation of a drain, the NHTSA has identified critical shortcomings. According to the agency, Ford’s plan fails to address the issue’s root cause and neglects to replace defective fuel injectors proactively before their potential failure.