Laguna Hills, CA – November 29, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2018 Ford Explorer vehicles equipped with 2.3L or 3.5L GTDI engine for a potential fuel leak. The potential number of units affected is 114.
According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, some fuel pressure sensors were produced by a supplier with over-size male threads resulting in a gap between the fuel pressure sensor and the mating saddle port with the o-ring not fully seated. Potentially, some Explorer vehicles built within the suspect date range may have a fuel pressure sensor that was not properly assembled. An improperly assembled fuel pressure sensor can result in a fuel leak. Fuel leaks in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.
Timeline of Events
On July 30, 2018, Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP) discovered an Explorer with a 2.3L engine in the yard with fuel underneath it on the ground. The fuel leak was determined to originate from the fuel pressure sensor joint in the fuel line assembly on the top of fuel tank. CAP issued a Stop Ship on August 1, 2018, to contain all vehicles at the plant and in transit for inspection.
Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) subsequently reviewed this issue, beginning by inspecting held vehicles built during the month of July 2018, and initiated a Design of Experiments (DOE) to help determine the cause. The vehicle inspections identified no fuel leaks in the more than 9,000 vehicles being held; however, four sensors that were not properly assembled were identified. The four vehicles were built within a three day period between July 29, 2018, through July 31, 2018, and it was determined that the cause was over-size threads on the sensor.
Using the supplier’s records, Ford’s investigation of vehicle production records determined that 144 vehicles built at CAP during a specified three day period when incorrect parts were available were delivered to dealerships before the inspection could be completed and may or may not actually contain incorrect parts. On November 5, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a recall, being unaware of any reports of accident, injury or fire related to this condition.
Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the fuel line assembly replaced. There will be no charge for this service. The recall is expected to begin December 3, 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S35. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-807.