Ford is recalling about 1.5 million Focus models to deal with a fuel tank problem that could lead to the engine stalling out, even at speed.
The third-generation cars, from 2012-2018 model years, are fitted with the Duratec 160-hp 2.0-litre 4-cylinder (GDI) or the 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder (GTDI) engines. Cars with those engines are equipped with a canister purge valve that may become stuck open, causing an excessive vacuum in the plastic fuel tanks, potentially causing them to deform.
As a result, the fuel system malfunction light illuminating in the instrument cluster, and might also result in inaccurate fuel levels that would cause the fuel gauge to fluctuate. The end result is that the engine could stall out while the car is being driven, with the possibility that it may be able to be restarted, and that would naturally increase the risk of a crash (though Ford is not aware of any incidents).
The recall affects a total of 1,463,389 cars, with the bulk of the in the US and federalized territories, 136,272 in Canada and 44,521 in Mexico.
Owners will be asked to return their cars to Ford dealerships, which will inspect the canister purge valve, carbon canister, fuel tank and fuel delivery module, as necessary, and reprogram the power control module with new software to detect the malfunctioning valve and prevent the excessive fuel vapour vacuum condition.
Until their cars are repaired, owners of affected cars are asked to make sure their fuel tank levels don't fall below half.