Feds Probe 241,000 2018-2021 Ford EcoSports for Oil Pump Failures

(Image: Ford)

The NHTSA received nearly 100 complaints of engine failures.

It’s one of the most crucial components of an engine and could cause catastrophic consequences when it fails: the oil pump. Unfortunately, several consumers have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of such failures in 2018-2021 Ford EcoSport models. The agency’s Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is looking into the problem. While these preliminary measures don’t always result in a recall, the outcome may require Ford to repair up to 241,014 EcoSports, depending on the number of defective oil pumps in service.

95 complaints in total allege engine failures with the tiny 1.0-liter EcoBoost due to an issue with the oil pump. Going through the NHTSA’s complaints page also sheds some light on the nature of those failures as well as the mileage at which they occur. Two complaints were published on September 20 alone — the date federal regulators opened the probe.

The page includes the case of an owner from Orlando: “The contact owns a 2018 Ford EcoSport. The contact stated that while his daughter was driving at an undisclosed speed and attempting to slow down, there was an abnormal sound coming from the engine compartment before the vehicle lost motive power and stalled. The vehicle failed to restart. No warning lights were illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who diagnosed a failure with the oil pump, resulting in damage to the engine. The contact was informed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired.” This vehicle’s engine allegedly failed at 54,600 miles.

Ford carries a reputation as one of the most recalled brands in America, a reputation CEO Jim Farley stressed must change. However, Ford issued the most recalls of any automaker in 2022 and was on track to do so again in 2023, through the first half of the year. This issue with the EcoSport’s oil pump could add to that list, and be an expensive campaign to conduct since new engines may be required for hundreds or even thousands of affected vehicles.