By Vince Bond Jr., Crain News Service
DETROIT (May 16, 2013) — Ford Motor Co. is being sued by three vehicle owners in Ohio because of alleged defects in the auto maker's six-cylinder EcoBoost engine.
According to the lawsuit, the 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine "contained serious latent design, manufacturing, or assembly defects" that cause vehicles to shake, misfire and rapidly lose power.
The problems often occur at highway speeds—putting the plaintiffs and fellow drivers in life-threatening situations, according to the suit.
Two of the plaintiffs, who are married, claim their 2010 Ford Taurus SHO lost power and stalled several times. Another plaintiff said he lost power while accelerating his F-150 pickup.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received nearly 100 complaints about the engine, the lawsuit states.
The suit—filed May 10 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division in Columbus—was first reported by the Associated Press May 15.
Ford hasn't recalled any vehicles for the alleged defect, and NHTSA hasn't opened an investigation, AP said.
A Ford spokesman said the company was not prepared to comment because it has not reviewed the lawsuit in question.
According to the suit, the problems stem from a buildup of moisture in the engine's intercooler. Acceleration results in more air flow through the intake tube, creating a vacuum that pulls in the air and moisture from the tube into the engine.
Ford knew of the problem, the suit claims, because it published several technical service bulletins and suggested potential fixes to dealers covering the F-150.
The suit states the owners weren't informed about the defects, which allegedly impact all vehicles with this engine.
The V-6 EcoBoost, introduced in 2009, has been offered in the 2010-13 Ford Flex crossover and Taurus SHO, 2010-13 Lincoln MKT crossover and MKS sedan, 2011-13 F-150 pickup, and 2013 Ford Explorer Sport.
The three- and four-cylinder EcoBoost engines aren't included in the lawsuit.
Reporter Adam Rubenfire contributed to this report, which appeared in Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.