The issue reportedly stems from a faulty oil pump that resulted in a loss of power.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an investigation over 241,014 Ford EcoSport engines that could fail due to an oil pump assembly issue. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, owners of the 2018 to 2021 model years may need their vehicles' engines replaced.
According to the Office of Defects Investigation's (ODI) report summary, the office has received 95 consumer complaints relating to the issue. They report engine failures in the now-discontinued EcoSport following a low engine oil pressure warning lamp that later precedes a loss or reduction of motive power.
Fortunately, no crashes, fatalities, or injuries were reported related to the issue.
The engine in question is the 1.0-liter EcoBoost (turbocharged) engine, making around 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. The engine may be considered an award-winning power unit, but the Blue Oval company faced a lawsuit of over $1 billion for reliability issues.
Looking at Ford EcoSport online forums, one owner of a 2018 model year with 68,000 miles on the odometer complained about a "dreaded" oil pump issue. Like the initial investigation assessment, the user kept receiving suggestions for an engine replacement.
Another user who owns a 2018 EcoSport with over 70,000 miles on the odometer had an engine failure after the wet timing belt snapped and blocked the oil pump. The user said around $9,000 was spent to repair the issue: $2,500 for a complete gearbox rebuild and $7,000 for an engine rebuild.
This is similar to the teardown of a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, where a mechanic believes the wet belt is a poor design.
We will keep track of the latest developments in the investigation. Ford would again lose tons of money for remedy works if the findings resulted in a recall. In our previous report, the company is estimated to spend about $270 million to fix faulty cameras in the Ford Explorer, Ford Bronco, and other Lincoln units.