Considered the cornerstone to Ford vehicles’ future, the EcoBoost name is attached to a family of high-tech engines designed to provide crisp performance while facilitating impressive fuel economy. Debuting in late 2009 as a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, gasoline direct-injected, and twin-turbocharged, the 365 horsepower produced from the EcoBoost V-6 made the powerplant an instant star. Creating a new family of smaller engines, it was understandable that the Ford Motor Company wanted to capitalize on the trademark.
Launching turbocharged 1.6 liter and 2-liter four-cylinder versions of the EcoBoost engine this year, one of the new powerplants reveals a pitfall for spreading a popular brand. While the 2-liter version remains trouble-free, the 1.6-liter variant has been the source of early gremlins.
As of late Friday, Ford announced the 1.6 liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is under a safety recall for overheating. The recall pertains to 2013 models of the Ford Escape and Fusion vehicle using the smaller EcoBoost powerplant. According to Ford Motor Company, engine compartment fires have resulted but have fortunately not resulted in any injuries. While some of the affected vehicles broadcasted a message within the instrument cluster flashing “Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps” or “Engine over temp, stop safely.” it appears other times a chime or red light in the driver’s dash display would turn red. Ford reports that the recall affects 73,320 Escape crossover vehicles and 15,833 Fusion sedans. The affected 2013 Ford Escapes and Fusions are either SE or SEL trim level models.
Ford is currently working on a fix to the problem with the 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine but has urged 2013 Ford Fusion and Escape owners to contact their dealerships to arrange alternative transportation that will be provided complimentarily until a solution is found.
The 2013 Ford Escape is turning into a repeat offender when it comes to vehicle recalls. Approaching five months on the market, some or all 2013 models of Ford’s new compact crossover vehicle have been affected by potential safety issues the auto company is racing to rectify. Though Ford’s promptness in admitting fault in their vehicles is something to be encouraged from automakers, four recalls in five months for the 2013 Escape’s release reflects a nightmare scenario. Three of those alerts were issued about the 1.6-liter EcoBoost-engined models of the 2013 Escape. One of the more noteworthy automotive recalls of the year, owners of the 2013 Ford Escape powered by the 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine, were notified in July about a potential fuel line splitting. That time also, Ford provided loaner cars until the newly purchased vehicles are corrected. In September, 1.6 liter EcoBoost versions of the 2013 Escape crossover were recalled as the potential of a cylinder head freeze plug becoming dislodged evaluated chances for a coolant leak and overheating.
With 1.6 liter EcoBoost variants of the 2013 Ford Fusion sedan falling into the current recall, this is obviously a setback for the family car. As is the case with the 2013 Ford Escape, Fusions powered by powerplants other than the 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine are unaffected by the recall.
A tough launch for such an important four-cylinder powerplant, Ford has no intentions to back away from the high-tech engine. Ahead of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Ford Fiesta ST was officially announced with all 197 horsepower coming from a 1.6 liter EcoBoost powerplant.