NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2012 Ford Fusion

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2012 Ford Fusion, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Electronic Throttle Body Malfunction

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13003

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: February 21, 2013
    • Date Closed: February 28, 2014
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Engine

    Summary: On February 21, 2013, the Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) opened Preliminary Evaluation PE13-003 to investigate allegations of electronic throttle body (ETB) failures resulting in sudden reduction of engine power in model year (MY) 2009-2013 Ford Escape, Fusion, Mariner and Milan vehicles. During this investigation, Ford identified a condition in subject vehicles equipped with 2.5L and 3.0L engines that may result in a sudden reduction of engine power.According to Ford, the ETB internal motor contacts may develop a high resistance material buildup condition on the commutator, resulting in intermittent electrical connectivity and reduced engine power. When this condition occurs, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) or Wrench light will illuminate and the vehicle may enter a limited limp home mode.Ford-s trade name for the feature is Failure Mode Effects Management (FMEM) mode.In this mode, engine power and vehicle speed are reduced, while full function of the power steering, power braking, lighting, and climate control systems are maintained.ODI-s complaint analysis indicate that the predominant failure mode involved reduced motive power associated with the limited limp home mode with engine speeds limited to approximately 900 RPM. Analysis of warranty claims provided by Ford identified 59,807 claims related to ETB replacements and approximately 50 percent of claims are associated with diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) P2111, "Throttle Body Stuck Open", and P2112, "Throttle Body Stuck Closed".Ford described several factors where the ETB motor may fail resulting in DTCs P2111 or P2112 but the failure is not an existing stuck open or closed ETB valve position.According to Ford, the ETB control strategy provides the driver with three FMEM modes that allow varying degrees of vehicle mobility depending on the severity of the fault detected.DTCs associated with stuck open or closed throttle valves are designated the highest failure severity resulting in engine speeds limited to high idle corresponding to the limited limp home mode.Vehicles are not likely to unexpectedly stall as a result of this condition, but drivers may characterize the reduced functionality as a stall, even though their vehicle may still has motive capability.Other FMEM limp modes may result in reduced engine performance but will maintain vehicle speed above 20mph. During this investigation, Ford and its suppliers, Delphi and Igarashi, updated the powertrain control module (PCM) software to include a throttle body motor cleaning cycle during key-on and modified the ETB internal motor components design, surface finish and material composition to improve durability. Additionally, Ford developed a remedy procedure and issued a special Customer Satisfaction Program (CSP) 13N03 extending the ETB warranty coverage and instructing dealers to update the powertrain calibration to improve vehicle performance in the event that intermittent electrical connectivity of the throttle body motor contacts occurs. The program extends the coverage for up to 10 years of service or 150,000 miles from the warranty start date of the vehicle, all vehicles are eligible for the program through January 31, 2015 regardless of mileage.Owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted by mail to take their vehicle to a Ford dealer who will reprogram the PCM to the latest calibration. The bulletin was sent to dealers on January 17, 2014 and the owner letter mailing began on January 27, 2014. See the investigative file for copies of Ford's bulletin and owner letter. This preliminary evaluation is closed. The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding that a safety-related defect does not exist. For additional information regarding this investigation, see complete closing resume in the document file for PE13-003.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Electric power steering failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14030

    Component(s): Steering:Electric Power Assist System

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation to investigate complaints of the loss of power steering while driving. The subject vehicles are equipped with a rack mounted Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) unit.Some of the complaints alleged that the steering assist failed and resulted in increased steering efforts that contributed to a loss of control and in some cases a crash.The EPAS system was manufactured by TRW Automotive for Ford and was designated as Generation I.These units were first produced and put into vehicle production in July 2008 beginning with the model year (MY) 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan.The system is comprised of a mechanical steering rack-and-pinion gear with torque sensor, electric assist motor, motor position sensor and a power steering control module (PSCM). The PSCM is self-monitoring and designed to detect faults within the system and can store diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) if a problem is detected.There are 29 potential DTCs the system can detect.Many of these allow the system to go into reduced-assist steering mode by using the default vehicle speed signal should the live speed signal be lost, if voltage to EPAS system falls below 10.7 or goes above 17 volts, the temperature at the PSCM goes above 105C (221F), or if high friction is detected.Some DTCs will cause the system to go into manual steering mode (no assist). On July 1, 2015, Ford filed a Defect Information Report (DIR) identifying a safety related defect in TRW GEN I EPAS systems installed in some of the subject vehicles (NHTSA Recall 15V-340, Ford No. 15S18).The DIR indicated that intermittent electrical connections caused by quality issues associated with conformal coat contamination and ribbon cable pin misalignment within the steering gear motor may lead to a loss of the motor position sensor signal, resulting in a sudden loss of power assist while driving.The recall covers approximately 393,623 vehicles built from September 2010 through February 2012:2011-12 Fusion built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; 2011-12 Lincoln MKZ built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; 2011 Milan built SEP 2010 - DEC 2010; 2011-13 Taurus built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; 2011-13 Flex with 3.5L GTDI engine built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; and 2011-13 MKS, MKT with 3.5L GTDI engine built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012.The repair consists of updating the PSCM software to prevent a loss of steering assist while driving. The revised software will provide audible and visual warnings to the driver. If one or more of the following DTCs are stored, C1B00-62, C200B-2F, C200B-61, C200B-62, C200C-2F, C200D-49, U0300-00, U2011-49, U2011-61, U3000-46, U3000-49, U3000-61, U3000-72, U3000-96, P07AE-09, the dealer will replace the EPAS system at no charge to the owner.ODI's analysis of failure data for this PE identified a total of 2,584 complaints to ODI and Ford and 9,967 Ford warranty claims related to the alleged defect.The recalled vehicles account for 1,634 of the complaints and 7,311 of the warranty claims.ODI's analysis identified 40 complaints alleging crashes that may be related to loss of steering assist while driving, 20 of which involved vehicles included in Ford's recall.The information available for the alleged crashes were not sufficient to assess specific causes of the incidents or to verify EPAS malfunctions in each case.Most of the crashes were low-speed impacts with curbs or roadside objects resulting in wheel or minor body damage.None of the injury claims indicated medical attention was required.In addition, statistical modeling of the failure data by NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis projected 10-year failure rates of approximately 8-14 percent for the recalled vehicles and approximately 1 percent for the non-recalled subject vehicles.This investigation is closed.All ODI complaints associated with this closing resume are listed in the Attachment.

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