Ford has issued a recall that applies to nearly 140,000 units of the Focus and the EcoSport built between the 2016 and 2022 model years. The vehicles included in the campaign were built with an engine oil pump drive belt tensioner arm that can break and damage the engine.
- 26,041 units of the Focus built between March 24, 2015, and May 4, 2018.
- 113,689 units of the EcoSport built between April 3, 2017, and October 12, 2021.
That’s a total of 139,730 vehicles on the American market. Ford notes that they’re all powered by the turbocharged, 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine and equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. It adds that the defect is found in 100% of the recalled cars.
Ford told the NHTSA that “the engine oil pump drive belt tensioner arm may fracture, separate from the tensioner backing plate, and/or the oil pump drive belt material may degrade and lose teeth.” If the pump isn’t spinning, the engine will experience a loss of oil pressure that can cause major damage. If the engine seizes, the car notably loses its power-operated brakes. Ford is aware of “one allegation of a crash and two injuries potentially related to this concern,” though it’s unaware of fatalities. It has received 2,099 warranty claims as of October 2023.
The company warns that a “low oil pressure” or “check engine” light illuminated in the instrument cluster can indicate an imminent oil pump-related failure. It also points out that an engine failure “is expected to produce loud noises audible to the vehicle’s occupants.”
Owners of affected cars will receive more information about the recall by mail in February 2024, and when parts are available they’ll be asked to stop by an authorized Ford or Lincoln dealership so that a technician can replace the oil pump drive belt tensioner assembly with an updated, longer-lasting part free of charge. Motorists who paid to get this problem fixed before May 2023 will be able to claim a refund.