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Ford recalling Focus Electrics over electric powertrain propulsion failure

Ford Motor is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 Focus Electric vehicles manufactured from 15 September 15, 2011 through August 23, 2013. In the affected vehicles, a powertrain control module software fault may result in a sudden loss of motive power, increasing the risk of a crash.

According to the defect information report Ford filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 2,456 vehicles in the US and federalized territories are potentially affected. According to Ford’s monthly electrified vehicle sales and production report, the company has produced 2,911 units of the battery-electric vehicle in total through October 2013.

If the power loss condition occurs, Ford said, drivers will see a red triangle indicator and the messages “Stop Safely Now” in the instrument cluster. Vehicle braking and steering continue to operate normally. The BEV can sometimes be restarted after going through a shutdown process, Ford said.

According to the defect report, in August 2013, Ford had identified 16 reports of loss of mobility. In September, Ford’s Critical Review Group reviewed the issue. Based on the low incidence in the field, CCRG referred it over to the customer satisfaction group.

Shortly thereafter, NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation (PE13-031, conducted by the Office of Defects Investigation) on the stalling. The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) analyzed complaint data provided by Ford as well as complaints submitted to ODI from consumers. In total, there were 171 unique reports indicating loss of motive power while driving, and the predominant failure mode identified involved loss of powertrain torque.

By mid-October, “based on the number and increasing trend” of reports, Ford approved the field action.

Ford will instruct Focus Electric owners to take their vehicles to dealerships to have the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) reprogrammed.

The Focus Electric has had earlier minor recalls, including one for wiring incompatibility that might cause the front side marker lamps not to function (earlier post) and one for no audible chime with an open door.



What really gets me about the back street chop-shop kludge that Ford has put on the road as an electric vehicle, is their infernal gall in claiming electric car leadership.

Get real, and get serious about electric cars, Ford.

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