Not even Ford's nifty 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine could escape the regulatory eye of the US government. Ford has issued a recall for certain 2018-2022 EcoSport and 2016-2018 Focus models equipped with the three-cylinder engine and 6F15 automatic transmission. They could suffer from a loss of engine oil pressure due to a defect with the oil pump drive belt tensioner arm.

According to the recall notice, the belt tensioner arm may fracture because the retention caulk joint isn’t robust enough to withstand engine vibrations. If this happens, the tensioner could separate from the backing plate and cause the belt to degrade by losing teeth.

Gallery: 2018 Ford EcoSport: First Drive

If this happens, the engine might experience a loss of oil pressure, which could damage and seize the engine. Drivers might experience a loss of engine and braking power, which could lead to an accident. Ford is aware of one crash allegedly related to this issue that injured two but is unaware of any fatalities. 

The recall arrives after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into nearly a quarter-million EcoSport crossovers for reports of alleged engine failure in 2018-2021 models in September. Ford’s EcoBoost engines have been under scrutiny since 2022 when NHTSA began investigating issues with the Bronco.

In October, the federal agency expanded its “catastrophic engine failure probe” to 700,000 Ford and Lincoln vehicles. It’s now looking at the 2.7-liter and 3.0-liter EcoBoost engines that power the Edge, Explorer, F-150, Lincoln Nautilus, and Lincoln Aviator models.

The recall affects 139,790 EcoSport and Focus models, two vehicles the automaker no longer offers in the US. Last year saw Ford retain the unwanted title of being the most recalled automaker, with 54 affecting 5.6 million vehicles. That’s down from 68 recalls for 8.5 million cars in 2022.

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