FORD SAFETY RECALL Safety Recall Notice 18532 / NHTSA Recall 18V-735

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Feb 12, 2019
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#1
ln early December 2018, I received an IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL letter from Ford Motor Company for my 2012 Ford Focus, which said that replacement part(s) were anticipated in “first quarter 2019.”

2012 Ford Focus /Safety Recall Notice 18532 / NHTSA Recall 18V-735
"A stuck CPV can lead to excessive vacuum in the fuel vapor system, causing the plastic fuel tank to deform, resulting in an inaccurate or erratic fuel gauge indication, inaccurate distance to empty (DTE), and/or "other drivability concerns”…SUCH AS: ''AN ENGINE STALL WHILE DRIVING WTHOUT WARNING OR WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO RESTART, AND CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.''


Following that alarming statement, Ford’s Recall Notice goes on to state: "Ford has not issued instructions to stop driving your vehicle under this safety recall." and ... "Owners can continue to safely drive their vehicle if they follow ALL instructions and warnings contained in the recall notice."

The interim remedy?
Ford’s Recall Notice says that for the future until part(s) arrive and my service center can schedule the work on my car, I am "advised to maintain at least one-half tank of fuel." THAT is the sole warning/instruction I see in the Safety Recall Notice.

In mid January, 2019 I inquired of my Ford dealership/service center if they had received the parts for the repair of the faulty CPV.
The answer was "no."

Today’s date is February 12, 2019, and parts for the critical repair still are “anticipated.”

Back to the illogical “remedy” while waiting for the fix—keeping gas tank half-full at all times:
lmagine having to stop for gas every time the fuel gauge in one’s little Ford Focus dips close to the 1/2-full mark? Imagine a driver’s stress and anxiety, constantly eyeballing that tricky fuel gauge that might be giving an “erratic indication;” or checking the possibly inaccurate Distance to Empty indicator? Imagine wondering, while cruising in traffic on an interstate highway at 55 or 60 mph, if and when your car’s engine might “stall while driving without warning or without the ability to restart.”

Even more alarmingly, when an auto engine quits while you're under way, the car will lose power steering and soon power brakes. I looked it up.

I also read this, just in case:
“But you can still guide and stop the car, even if it takes longer and requires much more effort.”

That last part is key: Here’s the issue: I'm a single, “senior” woman in her 70s; just how much effort will be required of me?

Further, as I’m on a limited income, I'm without means to rent another vehicle during this ongoing extended wait-time for the promised "first-quarter 2019" parts to materialize. IMHO, this is a very dangerous situation, and Ford's handling of it a boondoggle at best; and at worst, a possibly lethal outcome for an unknown number of Ford owner/drivers. DMB 2-12-2019
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#2
I've been topping off my tank when it reaches half for years. Maybe even decades, because I don't like to be low on fuel in case some kind of crisis occurs. Considering the various issues, I expect that your best course of action, while awaiting parts, is to keep your car filled every time it gets to half. You probably have two trip odometers on your panel. I hit reset each time I top off the gas, so even if your fuel gauge might not be accurate, you can see how many miles you have gone and go by that. So if you have too much anxiety with the fuel gauge, you have something else to go by. Given the options you have, this is, I believe, your best course of action. As for "little" or big cars, the range on a full gas tank is the thing to go by. Bigger vehicles have larger tanks because they use more. The range on our "little" car with the "little" tank is actually further than on our "big" car with the "big" tank.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,316
1,278
113
Maui Hawaii
#3
ln early December 2018, I received an IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL letter from Ford Motor Company for my 2012 Ford Focus, which said that replacement part(s) were anticipated in “first quarter 2019.”

2012 Ford Focus /Safety Recall Notice 18532 / NHTSA Recall 18V-735
"A stuck CPV can lead to excessive vacuum in the fuel vapor system, causing the plastic fuel tank to deform, resulting in an inaccurate or erratic fuel gauge indication, inaccurate distance to empty (DTE), and/or "other drivability concerns”…SUCH AS: ''AN ENGINE STALL WHILE DRIVING WITHOUT WARNING OR WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO RESTART, AND CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.''


Following that alarming statement, Ford’s Recall Notice goes on to state: "Ford has not issued instructions to stop driving your vehicle under this safety recall." and ... "Owners can continue to safely drive their vehicle if they follow ALL instructions and warnings contained in the recall notice."

The interim remedy?
Ford’s Recall Notice says that for the future until part(s) arrive and my service center can schedule the work on my car, I am "advised to maintain at least one-half tank of fuel." THAT is the sole warning/instruction I see in the Safety Recall Notice.

In mid-January, 2019 I inquired of my Ford dealership/service center if they had received the parts for the repair of the faulty CPV.
The answer was "no."

Today’s date is February 12, 2019, and parts for the critical repair still are “anticipated.”

Back to the illogical “remedy” while waiting for the fix—keeping gas tank half-full at all times:
imagine having to stop for gas every time the fuel gauge in one’s little Ford Focus dips close to the 1/2-full mark? Imagine a driver’s stress and anxiety, constantly eyeballing that tricky fuel gauge that might be giving an “erratic indication;” or checking the possibly inaccurate Distance to Empty indicator? Imagine wondering, while cruising in traffic on an interstate highway at 55 or 60 mph, if and when your car’s engine might “stall while driving without warning or without the ability to restart.”

Even more alarmingly, when an auto engine quits while you're underway, the car will lose power steering and soon power brakes. I looked it up.

I also read this, just in case:
“But you can still guide and stop the car, even if it takes longer and requires much more effort.”

That last part is key: Here’s the issue: I'm a single, “senior” woman in her 70s; just how much effort will be required of me?

Further, as I’m on a limited income, I'm without means to rent another vehicle during this ongoing extended wait-time for the promised "first-quarter 2019" parts to materialize. IMHO, this is a very dangerous situation, and Ford's handling of it a boondoggle at best; and at worst, a possibly lethal outcome for an unknown number of Ford owner/drivers. DMB 2-12-2019
Many recalls (such as the millions of Takata airbag replacements) that are considered "IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALLS" are not able to be completed for months, or in the case of Takata, years. I received a Takata recall notice in September 2016 that was not completed due to lack of parts until March 2018. Your car is still safe to drive so just keep the tank half-full or more and don't worry about it. If there are no parts they cannot do the repairs.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 12, 2019
4
0
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76
#4
I've been topping off my tank when it reaches half for years. Maybe even decades, because I don't like to be low on fuel in case some kind of crisis occurs. Considering the various issues, I expect that your best course of action, while awaiting parts, is to keep your car filled every time it gets to half. You probably have two trip odometers on your panel. I hit reset each time I top off the gas, so even if your fuel gauge might not be accurate, you can see how many miles you have gone and go by that. So if you have too much anxiety with the fuel gauge, you have something else to go by. Given the options you have, this is, I believe, your best course of action. As for "little" or big cars, the range on a full gas tank is the thing to go by. Bigger vehicles have larger tanks because they use more. The range on our "little" car with the "little" tank is actually further than on our "big" car with the "big" tank.
THANKS.
I have actually "sort of" been doing that, but still....anxiety abounds. Your advice brought back a really old memory of my Dad keeping a little notebook of gas fill-ups and mileage in his glove box....for his 1951 Ford sedan. Whattacar!
 
Feb 12, 2019
4
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1
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#5
Many recalls (such as the millions of Takata airbag replacements) that are considered "IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALLS" are not able to be completed for months, or in the case of Takata, years. I received a Takata recall notice in September 2016 that was not completed due to lack of parts until March 2018. Your car is still safe to drive so just keep the tank half-full or more and don't worry about it. If there are no parts they cannot do the repairs.
Since 2016 ????? You must be one of the most patient humans on earth!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,836
7,675
113
San Francisco
#7
I understand your anxiety, Davene, my husband would feel exactly as you do. However, if you contemplate a "sudden engine stall" on the larger scheme of driving, it probably wouldn't give you much trouble at all. Automotive issues have been going on like this since the Model T. Some bureaucrat told Ford that they had to use all capital letters and underline them. In reality, the engine stops, you coast over to the side of the road, put on the flashers and call Triple A. Since your only alternative is to park the vehicle and rent one for the duration, I hope you can keep a fuel record like your dad and drive comfortably until Ford gets the parts.
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#8
I understand your anxiety, Davene, my husband would feel exactly as you do. However, if you contemplate a "sudden engine stall" on the larger scheme of driving, it probably wouldn't give you much trouble at all. Automotive issues have been going on like this since the Model T. Some bureaucrat told Ford that they had to use all capital letters and underline them. In reality, the engine stops, you coast over to the side of the road, put on the flashers and call Triple A. Since your only alternative is to park the vehicle and rent one for the duration, I hope you can keep a fuel record like your dad and drive comfortably until Ford gets the parts.
I have had bad experiences with Ford recalls in the past. I had a 2000 Focus, and driving home on the freeway in rush hour I was moving at 70 mph in the left lane when the car just shut off, leaving me dead in the high speed lane. Unable to even move to the tight shoulder. I sat there for 10 minutes, tried restarting, and fortunately it did, so I could at least get off the highway.

When I got home I looked the problem up online and found a Ford recall notice that said there was a problem with the fuel pump where the impeller would break up and shed plastic chips into the fuel line, temporarily blocking fuel flow. Told the dealer I had never been notified, and they told me that it was considered a "drivability issue," not a safety issue. Having the engine die in high speed traffic isn't a safety issue?

They told me that they would diagnose the problem for $110, and refund the money for that if the pump was bad. Turned out the problem was the pump, and the dealer replaced it under the recall. But they pinched the pump gasket when they installed the replacement. I complained about the constant smell of gas after I picked it up, and was told it was due to the fact that they had removed the tank to change the pump. A couple of days later I got a Check Engine light and took it back to them. They said it was not related to the fuel pump and charged me another $75 to diagnose the problem. And found the gasket they damaged when they had installed the new fuel pump.

Considering Ford is the company who decided it was cheaper overall to pay a few wrongful death settlements rather than to fix the famous Pinto exploding gas tank problem...
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#9
@JNFitzsimmons FYI ... If your issue truly was a recall, Ford had to replace the pump without requiring you to pay.

A recall is a FMVSS safety issue and manufacturers are required to be law to replace the part / fix the problem (although as we saw in the Takata issue it can take a long time to have replacement parts available).

Recalls are different than service campaigns. Service Campaigns are issued for non-safety items where the OEM agrees to fix the issue / replace the part at no cost to the purchaser but unlike a recall, they are limited in scope and duration . Your issue was a service campaign. Here's the report (https://www.autosafety.org/wp-content/uploads/import/ea02-022 closing.pdf).
 
Likes: Neil Maley

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
962
1,559
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#10
@DAVENE Here's the official recall notice (https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCLRPT-18V735-6341.PDF )... Short answer is that it the issue only occurs after the fuel tank deforms. Keeping a 1/2 tank of gas gives the tank enough structure to not deform. Here's the number to call at Ford if you have concerns (866-436-7332). From what I can find, most people are only going to have a software update to eliminate any chance. Only people whose vehicles show a history of trouble codes, rough running (stalling etc) or inaccurate fuel measurements are going to have parts replaced. From what I could find, there's also a really low failure rate so you're probably fine.
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#11
@JNFitzsimmons FYI ... If your issue truly was a recall, Ford had to replace the pump without requiring you to pay.

A recall is a FMVSS safety issue and manufacturers are required to be law to replace the part / fix the problem (although as we saw in the Takata issue it can take a long time to have replacement parts available).

Recalls are different than service campaigns. Service Campaigns are issued for non-safety items where the OEM agrees to fix the issue / replace the part at no cost to the purchaser but unlike a recall, they are limited in scope and duration . Your issue was a service campaign. Here's the report (https://www.autosafety.org/wp-content/uploads/import/ea02-022 closing.pdf).
They did replace the pump at no charge under the recall, but they immediately charged my debit card for the diagnosis. Then took two weeks to rescind the charge. Same for the charge to diagnose the resulting Check Engine code. And unless you check your manufacturers website for "service issues" weekly you may not hear anything about it until the replacement period has expired. When I first took the car in the dealer denied that there was a problem. They wouldn't even discuss it until I went home, printed a copy of the Ford service bulletin and showed it to them.

Needless to say I will never have anything to do with this dealership again. Or own another Ford Focus.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,836
7,675
113
San Francisco
#13
Oh, this is a great trick ... a customer has a recall, the dealership charges the customer to determine if it's applicable to their particular vehicle. I'll guarantee you that 50% of the people who are charged up front forget about it and the dealership keeps the money. Other than the Lincoln dealer where I bought my Navigator, I've never been comfortable with dealerships. They just seem so transparent with their greed and almost-fraudulent behaviour.

I drove an American vehicle my entire adult life, but bought a Nissan 4 years ago because I was tired of the service issues with Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Oldsmobile over the years. Only thing Ford does right is build trucks, our F250 never had anything but periodic maintenance for his 19.5 years. I'm blessed to have a great mechanic. I'm very glad to read that your current issue seems to be quite easy to handle.
 
Likes: ADM
Jan 17, 2019
29
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#14
Oh, this is a great trick ... a customer has a recall, the dealership charges the customer to determine if it's applicable to their particular vehicle. I'll guarantee you that 50% of the people who are charged up front forget about it and the dealership keeps the money. Other than the Lincoln dealer where I bought my Navigator, I've never been comfortable with dealerships. They just seem so transparent with their greed and almost-fraudulent behaviour.

I drove an American vehicle my entire adult life, but bought a Nissan 4 years ago because I was tired of the service issues with Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Oldsmobile over the years. Only thing Ford does right is build trucks, our F250 never had anything but periodic maintenance for his 19.5 years. I'm blessed to have a great mechanic. I'm very glad to read that your current issue seems to be quite easy to handle.
For what it's worth I've bought my last three new cars from a Hyundai dealer about 5 miles from home and they've always been very good to me. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,836
7,675
113
San Francisco
#15
For what it's worth I've bought my last three new cars from a Hyundai dealer about 5 miles from home and they've always been very good to me. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
This is good to know. My husband bought a used Toyota from the local dealer. We got a notice about something or other needing to be inspected and probably replaced the other day. I got an appointment for yesterday, the Toyota people were so nice to me I was dumbfounded, the waiting area was beautiful and clean, they even had a big box of pastry over by the espresso machine. They shuttled me back to my office and my guy told me he'd know the status about 1230. At 1230 exactly, he called to say the shuttle was on the way to pick me up. 45 pages of paperwork and off I went. The ONLY positive experience with a car dealer in my life. So there is hope.
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#16
This is good to know. My husband bought a used Toyota from the local dealer. We got a notice about something or other needing to be inspected and probably replaced the other day. I got an appointment for yesterday, the Toyota people were so nice to me I was dumbfounded, the waiting area was beautiful and clean, they even had a big box of pastry over by the espresso machine. They shuttled me back to my office and my guy told me he'd know the status about 1230. At 1230 exactly, he called to say the shuttle was on the way to pick me up. 45 pages of paperwork and off I went. The ONLY positive experience with a car dealer in my life. So there is hope.
When I have service done I normally just wait unless it's going to take longer than an hour. In that case, or if they find some additional issue during service they pay for Uber to take me home and bring me back to the dealership.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#17
THANKS.
I have actually "sort of" been doing that, but still....anxiety abounds. Your advice brought back a really old memory of my Dad keeping a little notebook of gas fill-ups and mileage in his glove box....for his 1951 Ford sedan. Whattacar!
I have noticed that in some cases, they tell you to "take the car off the road", so it they didn't do that, I expect you should be fine just keeping track of the gas with the odometer. Our other car had the air bag issue, so we didn't use the passenger seat until it got fixed. Some of these recalls are not overnight fixes. But I'd rather know about them and be told what to do....good luck.