Ford Sued Over EcoBoost Design Problems, Engine Flaws

Ford has been sued over issues with its much ballyhooed EcoBoost engine that in certain driving situations can go into “limp mode” causing shuddering and loss of power. This dangerous issue has all the makings of a class-action lawsuit and recall.

Ford Sued Over EcoBoost Design Problems, Engine Flaws

Ford’s EcoBoost engine is the subject of a lawsuit that claims design and manufacturing defects lead to unsafe driving events.

The EcoBoost engine has been widely reported as going into “limp mode” when the charged air cooler builds up humidity and this humidity gets sucked into the engine. When this event occurs, computers in the truck restrict the engines performance to negate damage from occurring  Unfortunately, this limp mode has the tendency to happen, for some, at the worst time like trying to pass another vehicle or merging on the interstate. Having a non-responsive vehicle during these driving events can cause serious injury to the driver or at the very least some shaky nerves.

Ford has responded to this issue by building a replacement charged air cooler. Essentially  Ford found that in humid areas, the cooler worked too well and caused humidity buildup. This new part is designed to stop water from building up and thus stopping the problem from occurring. Currently, Ford is fixing these vehicles on a as needed basis.

The lawsuit, brought by three Ohio owners, claims that Ford should have been aware of the 3.5-L v6 engine having “contained serious latent design, manufacturing, or assembly defects,” according to an Autoweek.com story. While this may be true, at the very least Ford could have done a better job of communicating the issue to Ford owners. This lawsuit though, will likely gather more plaintiffs as word spreads through more of the U.S. especially the humid areas of the country.

The turbocharged engine has been the target of criticism and approval over the past several years. Consumer advocates like Consumer Reports haven’t found a lot of the MPG claims to hold up in real world testing. While others like the EPA have stated that turbocharged engines are the future and will dominate the car market.

Whatever side you are on, one thing we can all agree on is that Ford poorly communicated the shortcomings of the limp mode problem and likely will pay the price.

What do you think? Is this lawsuit a big black eye for Ford or a small misstep?

Written by Tim Esterdahl