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Feds Drop Ford F150 EcoBoost Investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has officially closed their investigation into the Ford F150 pickups powered by the popular EcoBoost V6 after deciding that there is no need to recall those 360,000 trucks due to a power loss issue - with no further action required by the automaker and that means no recall of their most popular pickup.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched the initial investigation into the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Ford F150 pickups powered by the popular twin turbocharged 3.5L V6 after receiving 95 complaints of the trucks losing power in certain conditions. Ford was quick to respond, pointing out that the charge air cooler (intercooler) can develop condensation in particularly humid or rainy conditions and as a result, there can be a brief misfire condition that will reduce power…but only by a small amount and only at wide open throttle. Ford insists that the EcoBoost powered F150 will still maintain speed and accelerate during these stints of reduced power, they just wont accelerate as quickly as usual. During the course of the initial investigation, the NHTSA received a total of 525 complaints about a loss of power from the EcoBoost engine

The NHTSA found in their investigation that the Ford F150 powered by the EcoBoost V6 will indeed lose power, but as Ford pointed out, the loss isn’t enough to really impact drivability. Ford also pointed out that this misfire condition is actually programmed into the engine control unit as part of the federal emission requirement about water ingestion by the engine. Finally, Ford has issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) instructing dealerships who have trucks come in for repairs citing EcoBoost power losses, instructing the service department to install a deflector shield below the charge air cooler to protect it from any excessive water in wet conditions. The NHTSA also noted that replacing either the charge air cooler, installing the shield that is part of the TSB or doing both will fix this issue.

In the end, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the 2011-2013 Ford F150 pickups powered by the EcoBoost V6 can run into this power loss issue, but the problem is unique enough relative to the number of possibly affected trucks and the problem itself is minor enough that no further action is required. In other words, since it can happen so rarely and when it does, the repair is straightforward enough that the government will not require a recall of these 360,000 Ford half ton pickups.

While this announcement will likely serve to aggravate those 2011-2013 Ford F150 owners who were hoping to see a recall force the Motor Company to address this issue free of charge, the bottom line is that this power loss is more of a rarely occurring inconvenience than a safety issue and the NHTSA’s job is to protect the American auto industry from safety issues…not annoyances.

I have had the fortune of spending time in several EcoBoost powered F150 pickups from those models years and during some of that time, I can guarantee that my charge air cooler was very, very wet on both hot and cold days. In no situation did I notice any power loss from the F150, even when the engine bay was wet enough to account for the picture shown above.

Other F150 News:
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Ford F150 V6 Engines Continue to Dominate the Truck Market
Ford Could Offer the First Successful Hybrid Truck with the 2015 F150
A Look at the Engine Lineup for the 2015 Ford F150 with Possible Power Numbers
The 2015 Ford F150 Should Yield Ford's First Half Ton Diesel Pickup

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john doyle (not verified)    September 29, 2015 - 8:53AM

Owned three F150 trucks over the last 20 years, but had the Ecoboost seize at 84,000 miles. Ford simply claimed out of warranty and cost $9100 for a new engine. Ford Tough? Ford crap!!!! Got over 150,000 miles out of the previous V8 engines and traded in while still running strong. Stay away from the Ecoboost!!!!

Marlene Stadler (not verified)    January 3, 2017 - 3:36PM

In reply to by john doyle (not verified)

We have taken our 2012 F150 into the dealership twice for an eco boost problem. We were told that wasn't the issue. First time rainy and truck made a chugging motion while slowing down. Another time we did not have enough power to get up the on ramp to an expressway and yesterday coming home in the rain we were on the expressway when it acted up again. Scary situation when other people are going over 70 miles an hour and we lost speed fast could not get 40. When it happens you have no warning the truck just jerks and quickly loses speed. Hope Ford has a guilt free conscience when somebody gets rear ended and killed because of the eco boost situation.

Jack Cox (not verified)    October 10, 2015 - 2:06PM

Ford has had years to try and find a real solution for this life endangering problem yet apparently can't or will not spend the money. I'm thinking that if they find a real solution they may be compelled to fix all previous year models with the issue. I drive a 2015 F150 EcoBoost truck around 5000 miles a month mostly on Interstate I-10 in the Florida Panhandle. I have shown the Tallahassee Ford Service Manager multiple videos of my truck stalling with the intercooler design defect. I don't like class action lawsuits but unfortunately since the Federal Government will not help I'm going to look into it. My company buys many of these trucks every year with employees driving all of the US everyday.

eric (not verified)    November 30, 2015 - 11:53PM

2011 f150 lariat eco boost... What a bad truck and bad service from the dealer. Told me water is normal in my oil after I did an oil change and found the oil cap to be milky Told me my back window had to be replaced to get my side mirror heat to work And it wasn't covered under warranty. I was quick to point out that in my handy quick reference guide they gave me that yea it IS covered . So they ended up replacing it under warranty.. still a 100 dollar deductible fee though. Clutch packs in rear diff, back up camera harness.

Timing chain, guide arms , tensioner replaced trying to fix this awful grinding noise upon start up. Had my truck for 3 weeks and it didn't fix the problem. Finally got cam position sensor solenoid s replaced and it fixed it.

Now all the dash lights stay on all night when truck is shut off .

Shifts rough, clunks upon stopping and starting at stop signs,

FORD needs to be sued or charged for robbery and false information and for ripping people off.

Tom (not verified)    December 8, 2015 - 9:35PM

2013 f-150 4x4. Sounds like the same issues as above. My has happened in both high and low moisture conditions but always on long highway runs. When you really need the power to pass or get out of the way it isn't there. 92,000 miles on it now. Also having electrical grimlens in the info center and radio controls. I think this is my first and last Ford. Yes Chevy might suck and Obama might control the company but I was never run over passing in the 8 Silverados I have owned.

Lance Meyer (not verified)    January 8, 2016 - 7:08PM

I have a 2013 F150 3.5L ecoboost. I have had complete power loss and shudder 5 times now. The engine will die when this is occurring, if you attempt to accelerate. I have read a lot about this and there is something causing it that only affects some of the vehicles on the road or this would have been recalled for sure. It sounds like Ford fixed the design issue in the new 2015 models but are not making it whole for the 2011 - 2014s.......... Thinking about going away from Ford over this, dealership claims ignorance.

Charles Bourne (not verified)    January 2, 2017 - 6:53PM

I have a 2011 turbo it bogged down on me today 1-2-2017... big safety hazard.....I was trying to pass ....COVER UP......government is full of it...

John (not verified)    February 17, 2017 - 3:38PM

Took my 2012 f150 ecoboost in today to have the cac deflector put on. Supposed to solve the problem 90% of the time according to fords tsb to the dealerships. 258 dollars and I'm driving my truck home, so I decide to "test" my new deflector with some relatively heavy acceleration. Truck shudders hard when I accelerate. It is rainy out, so wet roads and such. Mine always acted like ford states, which is to say minor power loss and no real danger. However unlike a lot of you seem to be expressing, mine isn't intermittent. I can duplicate the truck shudder at will just by leaning into the accelerator. Also my on dash readout says I am getting 2 mpg less than before. Really felt like I had to push the pedal to reach same speeds as before. Went from high 17's to high 15's. Was only a 30 mile test so I will report back after a couple tanks of gas, but if I'm going to get 15 mpg then I'll do it in a 1 ton where it won't tank when I'm towing. And at this rate that 1 ton isn't gonna be a Ford....

Mike (not verified)    April 3, 2017 - 3:23PM

Same issues as others here 2012 150 eco boost. I am going to buy a Japanese truck next time. Ford is greedy and doesn't care anymore!

Karissa (not verified)    June 30, 2017 - 8:50PM

I am saddened that the NHTSA so quickly let for off the hook, the TSB mentioned in this did not fix the issue like ford promised, as a matter of fact the newest TSB (TSB 14-0017) basically states to undo everything that was mentioned in this article that "will fix this issue". I am currently dealing with this issue on my 2014, the only real fix is to eliminate the build up of moisture in the CAC (charge air cooler) or find a way to drain it without it being pushed back into the motor, which if enough is pushed in could end up blowing up a motor.

Sam (not verified)    August 24, 2017 - 1:55PM

This is a safety issue. On long trips using cruise in the rain this is a repeatable problem. The loss of power is significant when in traffic at highway speeds of 70 mph, especially with hills. I hope Ford decides to own up to this and fix appropriately at their cost. I have already paid over $40,000. I would like to be a happy F150 customer and promote the truck but at this point I can not.

Les (not verified)    January 9, 2019 - 5:29PM

I bought a 2014 f-150 eco boost and have had it go into limp mode so many times I can’t count. It is so dangerous I can’t believe ford hasn’t done something about it. When I pull out into an intersection, and my truck kicks into limp mode , it’s as if you stomped on the brakes. There’s no acceleration what so ever and if there’s another car coming,your done. I have to coast if possible and turn the truck off I order to regain power. I live 3 miles from the post office and on the way back the other day my truck went into limp mode and it took me over an hour to get home taking any back road possible to avoid traffic and a possible traffic accident . This problem is more than dangerous it’s gonna be deadly !!!! It’s coming Ford !

Mark Russin (not verified)    February 17, 2019 - 12:26PM

Please everyone on here post your problems on social media that you are having with the for eccoboost engine and everyone contact. The National Highway traffic safety administration tell them you will go public and sue them if they don't do something about ford not fixing the problems that can be dangerous and it's their job too protect us!!!

Andrew Clough (not verified)    April 3, 2019 - 9:54AM

Had this issue a few years ago and almost caused an accident pulling onto a highway.

Also turbos have gone out and timing chain is going out.

Horrible engine and unsafe.

To take responsibility for this would be too costly.

Reminds me of Lee Iacoca and and the Ford Pinto in the 70's Cheaper to pay out the victims families who lost life than to perform an expensive recall.