Ford Faces New Federal Probe Over Focus Recall
Ford’s ongoing struggle to produce cars that are actually safe to drive has prompted a new federal investigation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently opened a review of a 2018 Focus recall of nearly 1.3 million vehicles for engine problems. Investigators are looking into whether the carmaker actually fixed the defect.
“This investigation has been opened to assess the scope and remedy” of the previous recall, NHTSA said in a document officially launching the probe.
Ford recalled the vehicles back in 2018, saying at the time that the cars were manufactured with faulty canister purge valves, which control the flow of air into engines. It said the problem could cause the cars to lose power unexpectedly and without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.
The company as part of the recall said it would inspect valves, replace defective parts and roll out a software update aimed at reducing risks. But NHTSA said it has received nearly 100 complaints from owners of cars covered by the recall or which “experienced the same failure as the affected vehicles.”
Ford is “supporting NHTSA with their investigation,” a company spokesperson told news outlet The Messenger.
The agency is already investigating a separate Ford recall of some 50,000 Mach-E electric Mustang vehicles, which were called back because of an overheating defect that could similarly cause those cars to lose power. NHTSA is looking into the scope of that recall and the effectiveness of the fix offered by Ford.
Meanwhile, the new recalls keep on coming.
Ford recently announced that it is calling back nearly 19,000 Super Duty trucks over malfunctioning camera displays. In July, the automaker recalled some 15,000 Fusion PHEVs that it said could lose power and catch fire.
Ford issued more recalls than any other auto manufacturer last year. The company’s total of 67 separate recalls in 2022 far surpassing the 45 recalls by the next closest carmaker, Volkswagen.
Legal Rights for Ford Drivers in California
The good news for Ford and other car owners in California is that you do not need to wait for a recall to get a defective or malfunctioning vehicle fixed. The California lemon law offers some important rights and protections.
Formally known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon law forces car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. The law also requires those companies to buy back vehicles that they cannot or will not fix. That includes covering the purchase price, financing fees and other related expenses.
A manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle, but it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.