NHTSA Probes 400,000 Ford F-150 Pickups for Reduced Engine Power

May 28, 2013

U.S. safety regulators have opened an investigation into reports of sharp reductions in engine power in an estimated 400,000 of Ford Motor Co’s 2001 to 2013 model-year F-150 pickup trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it opened a preliminary evaluation to assess whether the large pickup trucks have a safety-related defect after receiving 95 reports alleging incidents of reduced engine power during hard accelerations at highway speeds, such as merging or passing maneuvers, in trucks with 3.5-liter gas turbocharged direct injection engines.

Many of the complaints allege safety concerns associated with passing vehicles, but NHTSA said no crashes have been reported to date.

A preliminary investigation is the first step in a process that could lead to a recall if regulators determine a safety issue needs to be addressed.

A Ford spokeswoman said the U.S. automaker is cooperating with NHTSA officials in the probe. The F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. market.

NHTSA said about one-third of the reports it received indicate the incidents occurred while driving in humid or rainy conditions.

Ford has issued three technical service bulletins related to intermittent stumble/misfire on acceleration from highway cruise in humid or damp conditions in some model-year 2011 and 2012 F-150 trucks equipped with 3.5-liter gas turbocharged direct injection engines, according to NHTSA.

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