2000-2001 Ford Focus Fuel Pump Module
November 19, 2003
Ford Motor Company will recall 573,585 Ford Focus models made between 2000 through 13 June 2001 for a defective fuel pump for the third time. The recall issue number is "03N01."
According to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford recalled the Focus twice: Once in June 2001 for an interim fix and again in December 2001 for a final fix. Neither recall appears to have solved the fuel pump from failing though. This third Ford Focus fuel pump recall; however, will not be like any other recall Ford has instituted in the past, and will almost certainly receive scrutiny from the NHTSA and disapproval from safety advocates and consumer alike.
Rather than issue a
standard recall where Ford would replace the defective part or component, for the first time Ford will try and avoid replacing the known defective part at all. Ford's new recall scheme mandates that they will only replace the known defective part after it actually fails. Ford has specifically instructed their dealers to "Fix only if broken" the known defective Focus fuel pump after it fails.
Further, Ford has warned its dealers that unlike previous recalls where the new part
would be guaranteed under provisions of the vehicle warranty or an additional warranty, Ford will only replace the eligible part once. In cases where a customer previously paid to have the repair performed, the customer would be entitled to both a refund and a repair though. In addition, Ford will replace the original fuel pump should it fail for 10 years from the warranty start date.
A document from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that Ford and the ODI have a combined
3,475 complaints filed by consumers. Additionally, as of 09 September 2002, 18 crashes and 4 injuries have been attributed to the failed fuel pumps after the vehicle's engine failed to due a lack of fuel. The defective fuel pumps fail without notice.
The U.S. government has also concluded that the 2002 Ford Focus may have the same problem as the 2000-2001 models and should be included in an upgrade. Ford's latest recall does not include the 2002 Focus.
Ford has responded to
the NHTSA's investigation stating that they do not believe engine stalling in the Focus models presents an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety. The NTHSA disagrees. See the NHTSA document at AutoSafety.org.
By instituting a recall on a defective part and then refusing to replace it until it breaks sets a dangerous precedent for Ford, their consumers and the motoring public. This new policy also questions Ford's commitment to
This new policy may also place the lives of
the motoring public at risk and questions Ford's real commitment to consumer loyalty. It's quite simply a bad way of retaining current consumers and attracting new ones. And that's what survival in the auto business is all about.
For more information, contact Bob Badges at Ford Motor Company. call (313) 323-7816
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 03V482000
Component: FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 671000
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, CONTAMINATION OF THE FILTER IN THE FUEL DELIVERY MODULE (FDM) CAN REDUCE, AND EVENTUALLY BLOCK THE FLOW OF FUEL TO THE ENGINE.
THIS MAY CAUSE
ENGINE HESITATION, LOSS OF POWER, SURGING, AND OTHER SIMILAR SYMPTOMS. OVER TIME, THE FILTER MAY BECOME SUFFICIENTLY BLOCKED TO CAUSE THE ENGINE TO STALL, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.
THIS ACTION IS DEEMED A SAFETY IMPROVEMENT CAMPAIGN AND IS NOT BEING CONDUCTED UNDER THE SAFETY ACT. ALL OWNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE PROBLEM, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE FDM WITH A NEW DESIGN AT NO CHARGE IF THE OWNER REPORTS THAT THE VEHICLE EXHIBITS ANY OF THE IDENTIFIED
SYMPTOMS. THE FREE REPLACEMENT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR A PERIOD OF 10 YEARS FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE OF THE VEHICLE, WITH NO MILEAGE LIMIT. OWNER NOTIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING NOVEMBER 2003. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT FORD AT 1-800-392-3673.
FORD CAMPAIGN NO. 03N01. CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT (1-888-327-4236).