NHTSA closes probe into complaints of lesser power in Ford F-150s

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 13, 2014

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed a probe into complaints of lesser power in Ford F-150s. NHTSA opened in May 2013 an investigation into F-150 pickups covering model years 2011 to 2013 that are powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. NHTSA received 525 complaints while Ford informed the agency that it received 3,731 more.

Almost 19,000 warranty claims may have been involved but no injuries or crashes were reported to Ford or NHTSA. During the probe, Ford told regulators that significantly humid and rainy conditions may result to formation of condensation that may lead to misfire of up to three cylinders in 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines featuring twin turbochargers.

Ford solved the problem by installing a protective shield to keep condensation from developing to the point of causing an engine misfire. The carmaker has informed dealer via technical service bulletins while NHTSA concluded that that the issue was solved without a recall.

NHTSA said in its report that when the driver wants more power from the engine, the two turbochargers will spin up, compressing the air that will be used to hike the power created by the combustion.

The compressed air is passed via a charge air cooler that is designed to lower the temperature of the air to make the combustion process more efficient. Despite closing the investigation, NHTSA reserved the right to request a recall of the covered vehicles in the future.

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