Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,100 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Ford Flex engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Ford Flex Owner Comments

problem #13

Oct 202014


  • 25,500 miles


Six am, totally dark, lights on low beam, total power failure while in heavy traffic and inching forward. Engine died and all electrical components failed within 30 seconds. Battery was new in August of 2014, all connections tight. I was in lane three from the right on a six lane freeway that was totally impacted with vehicles. I tried to exit to right shoulder but could not and ended up blocking lanes two and three. No power to anything but I was able to get shift lever into park and the car started. Would not start in neutral or drive. Has not occurred since after driving approximately 650 miles.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #12

Aug 302011

Flex 6-cyl

  • 47,813 miles
2011 @ 47,813 miles: Car not cooling or takes a long time to cool in cabin- Ford found "coolant fan inoperable and coolant fan assembly replaced" to min avail would stop working intermittently (purchased Flex used from dealer 8 weeks prior); air condition condenser damaged: "replaced air conditioner condenser, evc nd recharged system" by Ford (our cost) safety: Passenger side air bag light comes off/on intermittently- Ford found nothing nor could reassure air bags working correctly; power steering cooler damaged- Ford replaced at our cost; May 2013 @ 63,349 miles: Air conditioner intermittently shuts (off no blower) while lights showing A/C on- Ford, "rear actuators failed- replaced, updated temp. Sensor June 2013 @ 64,078 miles: Passenger air bag lights come off and on intermittently- Ford found, " air bag wiring connector not securely attached to seat frame; grinding noise and car seems to downshift while driving; Ford' "glitch in computer system;" clicking noise in dash board happens when A/C both off and on- Ford, "recirculation door actuator failure- replaced by Ford; June 2014 @ 73,046 safety: Air conditioner turns off intermittently, not cooling while idle; engine overheating quickly (I.e. at stop signs) all of which can blow the engine; we replaced cooling fan relay to no avail; Ford, " cooling fan module failed- we replaced @ Ford for $1094.26 to no avail. Engine continuing to overheat: Air conditioner not cooling while idle.

- N.Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 152011


  • 25,000 miles
This is the third time the cooling fan system broke in 3 years since I have my Ford Flex 2009 model. O bought the car in dealer in January 2011. Few months after the cooling system broke. Then a year later it broke again and right now is broken for the third time. I always change for original parts but I want to know the root cause of this and to see if Ford is going to make a recall.

- Carolina, PR, USA

problem #10

May 012011


  • 60,000 miles


Several complaints: First the A/C makes a popping noise when turned on. It works fine as of now though. Second, drivers side 2nd row seat will not fold down 99% of the time. It's stuck somehow. Third, gas light no longer works. Fourth is the biggy. Car is overheating due to radiator fan's no longer working. It runs hot when idling or moving at a slow pace. This has happened multiple times during the hot, summer months of 90*+ and I have a two and a four year old. Three days ago it happened in 20* weather with a wind chill of below zero on the side of the interstate with my husband being my nearest help who was 45 minutes away. My children were crying after just 10 minutes or less that they were freezing and that their toes hurt. But what am I to do on the side of the interstate? I have contacted Ford several times and it's always the same answer "there is no recalls. Take it to your nearest Ford dealer". I found out at the end of last year that we have an extended care plan. It's currently all being repaired under the plan, thank goodness, with only a $100 deductible and a rental car. We're very fortunate in that aspect. I feel as though this should all be a recall due to the amount of people having these same problems, especially the overheating. Nobody should be having to pay a dime out of pocket to fix these issues. However, Ford could care less. They got their money from the purchase of the vehicles and obviously could care less about safety and making things right. When people ask how I like my Flex. My reply is "originally I loved it, now I hate it" and I tell them exactly why if they ask, which is every time. First and last Ford. Bad company all the way around.

- Warrior, AL, USA

problem #9

Mar 182012


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Flex. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, smoke was seen coming from the air vents. The vehicle was then pulled over and then driven slowly back to the contact's residence. The contact stated that prior to the failure, the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for a service done due to the check engine light illuminating. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 88,000.

- Beacon Falls , CT, USA

problem #8

Sep 092010


  • 25,000 miles
I purchased my Flex new on Oct 2009 and it has shut off while driving three times since I bought it. The first time it happened I was driving through my neighborhood (with my children in the car with me) at 20mph all the warning lights came on my engine shut off, loss of power steering, loss of brakes. Luckily I was able coast to the side of the street. I waited a few minutes and it wouldn't start. I tried to start it again and it started up. The second time I was driving on the highway(with my children in the car with me) at 55mph engine shut off, loss of power steering, loss of brakes and check engine light came on, I coasted to the shoulder, waited a few minutes and it started right up. I took it to the dealership; they told me they couldn't find any issues that would cause the vehicle to turn off while driving so they didn't attempt to fix it. The third time was last week while driving through my neighborhood(with my children in the car with me) at 20 mph, engine shut off, loss of power steering, loss of brakes and check engine light came on. I took it to the dealership again and again they told me that they couldn't duplicate the issue so they didn't attempt to fix it. My children were in the car with me all three times. I've taken to the dealership 3 times for this issue and they cant duplicate the issue so they can't find the problem so they didn't even attempt to fix it. I just dropped it off this week for the fourth time. Its very frustrating to have this issue especially since im scared to drive the vehicle with my kids in the car. I feel its a huge safety issue. Its a total inconvenience to have to keep going back to the dealership and drop off my vehicle. I have three children and need a dependable vehicle. Luckily we weren't injured but im worried that the next time it happens an injury could occur. Why hasn't Ford listed this issue in their tsb!

- Felton, DE, USA

problem #7

Oct 082011

Flex 6-cyl

  • 23,126 miles


Intermittent no start of vehicle. Towed to dealer after 5 previous incidents. Delivered to dealership in same no start behavior. Upon initial attempt a relay was replaced as the PCM (main engine computer) was not receiving power. Service advisor calls to indicate vehicle is ready and starts up after repair. At the dealership, picking up the vehicle, car starts up, however, dash lights light up, warning "check AWD, check this, check that..." service engine light on as well (the wrench). Shut the car down, try to restart, will not restart. Tech is with me and observes behavior and tries as well. No start again. Tech attempts to download error codes. Mentions rfi interference. Will be doing another diagnostic. Previously, car was towed to dealership for stalling at freeway speeds (65+). ended up being a soaked PCM (main engine computer). This took two trips (towed both times). This is now four times to repair the same non-running / no start defect. The rear brakes were also repaired due to dragging calipers as per tsb 10-7-2.

- Belmont, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 022011


  • 52,300 miles
Vehicle running sluggish approx. 3 weeks prior. Check engine light warning came on and immediately took vehicle to Ford for a diagnostics check. Vehicle had a code P0422, test ran verified evaporative system leak. I was told it was a safety issue and not drivable. Fuel filler pipe was cracked and needed replacement. Ford has prior recalls for this part over the years, although Ford did not cover this repair. 1 week prior one of two engine fans went out requiring replacement.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #5

Jan 172011


  • 8,000 miles
2009 Ford Flex (less than 8000 miles) suddenly stopped running while I was driving around a curve on a road at about 20 to 30 miles per hour. Lost power steering. Engine light, battery light and oil light came on. Car restarted after I stopped it on the side of the road.

- Mount Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #4

Oct 212010

Flex 6-cyl

  • 14,525 miles
Engine dies while idling at a stop while facing forward on an uphill grade. Vehicle was taken to dealer last year who performed a computer check and found no problem. However, the problem occasionally persists and could, in my opinion, present a safety issue.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 222009

Flex 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,526 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Ford Flex. The contact stated that there was an oil leak on the rear of the engine. The engine was removed and the leak was repaired by the dealership. The air cylinder that lifted the third row seats was defective and had to be replaced. The rear hatch opened on its own five times; the dealer realigned the door to remedy the problem. The rear main oil seal failed so it was also replaced at the dealership. The brakes failed to stop the vehicle effectively. When the vehicle was taken to the dealership, they stated that the vehicle was fine. The battery was defective and was replaced. The transmission excessively shifted into gear when down shifting, causing the vehicle to jerk and shake. The dealer stated that they could not find a problem when they inspected the vehicle. The engine made a popping noise when he accelerated from a stop. The door molding and window molding sills became warped. Lastly, one of the tires (the contact could not recall which one) blew and the sidewall separated; he replaced the tire at his expense. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that once the vehicle left the manufacturing plant, it was the dealership responsibility and offered no assistance. The current mileage was 15,283. The failure mileage was 7,526. The battery had to replaced. Updated 12/30/10

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #2

Jul 052009


  • 1,450 miles
This is a 2009 Flex dealer demo with 1450 miles. It has died twice while driving during a test drive. The first occurrence was while in drive, in a parking lot at about 5 mph. The engine, A/C, radio/accessory power, and all lights suddenly died. It was as if the key had been turned to "off", except that the retained accessory power and all dash/warning lights went out as well. The car re-started easily once put into neutral. The second occurrence was in reverse, backing out of a driveway at about 3 mph. This time the engine suddenly died, and A/C turned off, but the accessory power to the radio and dash /warning lights remained on, and the security light on the dash was blinking slowly. Again, the car re-started easily. Both times the power steering and braking went out and the car was much more difficult to control, and shifting gears, re-starting it, and shifting back to drive took several seconds. This could cause a serious collision if it happened while pulling into traffic. I have heard of at least 4 other similar incidents, and most of those were resolved at the dealership with a simple change to the computer control module in the engine. Hopefully Ford will recall units already sold to make this change before someone is injured.

- Bulverde, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 242009


  • 60 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Flex. While making a right turn in an intersection the vehicle unexpectedly stalled and the engine shut off. The driver was able to restart the vehicle; however, surprised that a new vehicle experienced a failure. There was no mention of warning lights being illuminated. The VIN is not available. The current and failure mileages were 60.

- College Station, TX, USA

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