Lawsuit alleges Ford cracked fuel injector recall isn't good enough and doesn't protect owners.

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Ford Cracked Fuel Injector Recall Moots Class Action Lawsuit
Lawsuit alleges Ford cracked fuel injector recall isn't good enough and doesn't protect owners.

— A Ford cracked fuel injector recall allegedly wasn't good enough to prevent vehicles from catching fire and did nothing to help owners with alleged diminished vehicle values.

This is the position of 12 owners who filed a cracked fuel injector lawsuit which claims 2020-2023 Ford Escapes and 2021-2023 Ford Bronco Sports are defective because the fuel injectors crack and cause engine fires.

Specifically, the 2020-2023 Ford Escape and 2021-2023 Ford Bronco Sport 1.5L engine fuel injectors can allegedly crack and leak fuel into the cylinder heads. A fire may occur if the fuel from the cylinder heads leaks onto hot surfaces.

A Ford engine fire recall was issued in April 2022 for Escapes and Bronco Sports at a time when Ford was still trying to determine the root cause of the problem.

Engineers believed engine oil separator housings could crack and cause oil leaks, oil which could hit hot ignition sources and create fires.

Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about cracks at the edge of the oil separator housings which could cause seals to leak oil between the oil separators and engine camshaft covers.

However, Ford's investigation continued to confirm if oil leaks were the real root cause of the engine fires, with under 1% of the vehicles at risk.

But in November 2022, a Ford cracked fuel injector recall was announced for about 522,000 Bronco Sports and Escapes following 20 engine fires.

According to the Ford cracked fuel injector recall, dealers were to update the engine control software to detect a cracked fuel injector and warn a driver to get the vehicle to a dealer. The power will automatically decrease as the temperatures are decreased to help prevent an engine fire.

A dealer also installed a drain tube in case a fuel injector cracked, forcing the fuel onto the ground instead of hot engine components.

Ford also says it will provide a one-time fix for a cracked fuel injector over the useful life of the vehicle, and owners will be reimbursed for money they spent on the cracked fuel injector problem.

Ford Cracked Fuel Injector Lawsuit Dismissed

The plaintiffs argue the Escape and Bronco Sport cracked fuel injector recall fails to prevent the engines from catching fire.

But according to Ford, the recall renders the class action lawsuit, "prudentially moot."

The plaintiffs first told the judge how a Ford vehicle caught fire only four days after fuel injector recall repairs were performed.

However, the judge found the plaintiffs "provide no details about the cause of that fire."

"But plaintiffs do not allege that a cracked fuel injector caused this fire, and without more, the Court cannot properly make such an inference where the complaint shows that very few fuel injectors ever crack and other parts may cause fires in the class vehicles." — Judge Shalina D. Kumar

Though the plaintiffs argue the Ford cracked fuel injector recall was not good enough, the judge notes how the entire process is under the watchful eyes of federal safety regulators at NHTSA.

The judge notes how NHTSA oversees the Ford recall and has the "authority to impose “stiff fines if [Ford] fails to carry out the recall” effectively.

The judge agrees with Ford the cracked fuel injector recall makes the lawsuit and claims against Ford prudentially moot.

But according to the plaintiffs, the problem still caused their vehicles to suffer diminished values and owners overpaid for their Ford vehicles when they were sold.

"But Ford’s recall measures would remediate the very same 'defect upon which' the 'diminished-value injury claim[s] [are] based,' thereby restoring their vehicle’s values and eliminating plaintiffs’ overpayment injuries." — Judge Kumar

Ford also told the judge no vehicle has failure-proof fuel injectors, and the judge says the plaintiffs never responded to Ford's point.

The Ford cracked fuel injector class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Letson, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.

The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, and The Miller Law Firm PC.

Ford has other court wins based on the "prudentially moot" argument because many automotive class action lawsuits are not filed until after an automaker announces a recall.

To read more about Ford's experience, check out Ford Maverick Airbag Recall 'Moots' Class Action Lawsuit, or Ford Hybrid Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed Over Engines.


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