Just to clear up a couple points, it's not actually the fuel line that's leaking. It's the little nipple on the fuel pump assembly that can crack and leak. I haven't seen any proof one way or the other that this is a design problem or a supplier quality (material properties?) issue, but it's not uncommon for a supplier to provide nice, carefully made, thoroughly checked parts to Ford for all the testing, then to make slight changes once high volume production gets underway.
Also the overheating issue had nothing to do with fan operation. it was Ford trying to advance cooling system design by introducing a bunch of bypass valves and strategy to rapidly heat the coolant, but missing a key failure mode in the system. The failure mode is not a mode that could happen in a conventional cooling system, so I would say that yes, it is bordering on the rocket science level.
I was referring to two separate fuel “line” leak recalls that Ford issued. The first one in July was on the 2013 Ford Escape which had a defective fuel line under the hood that can split open and become a serious fire risk. The risk was so great that Ford told the Escape owners to park their vehicles and do not drive them until after the repairs are made. The second one in September was on the Ford Edge involving a fuel line pulse damper that was cracking and leaking fuel.
The little nipple on the fuel pump that you are referencing was another fire hazard. While you speculated about a possible supplier quality issue the end result is that this fuel delivery module cracks because it is made of plastic. This is why I referenced fuel line design and materials of 50 years ago.
Regarding your statement about the fan having nothing to do with the overheating, as far as I know, Ford never released the specifics regarding the fix for this overheating problem. Their filing with the NHTSA states that they reprogrammed the power control module and the instrument cluster with overheating strategy software. The most detailed account that I read was actually in a newspaper which only explained one specific. The report said that the engine cooling fan did not come on at a critical time and the new software update includes a patch to turn on that fan during that critical time. It did mention there were other fixes involved in the software update.
Finally, you would say this is on the level of rocket science? That’s just silly.
As a 2013 Ford vehicle owner I am concerned about what’s going on. Many casual visitors to this forum are not aware of the big picture. And to complicate things even more, the Ford fan boys have a tendency to rush in and excuse away or deflect many of these Ford quality issues. I know because I am one of those Ford fan boys. I took a shot at Consumer Reports and gave the whole MFT system a pass in my assessment when an objective analysis would be critical of MFT and only attack Consumer Reports on the editorial side and not their numbers. So that being said, let’s try to have an objective discussion of what is really happening now.
Ford currently is experiencing an avalanche of problems on their engineering and quality control side. Ironically, corporate Ford is behaving very responsibly especially in reaction to these difficult problems.
The first fuel line fire hazard on the 2013 Escape that I mentioned above wasn’t the only safety recall. There was a second one regarding defective carpet padding that could interfere with the driver switching their foot from the gas to the brake pedal. A third safety recall for the overheating problem that was also a fire hazard and a fourth one for a faulty cylinder head core plug that could pop out, leak fluid that could result in a fire. A fifth safety recall in March of this year was regarding a defective child safety lock in the Escape, C-Max and Focus that would allow the door to be opened from the inside while the car was in motion.
The 2013 Lincoln MKZ was recalled for a faulty block heater insulation that some press reports listed as a shock hazard and others refer to as a fire hazard.
This past August Ford recalled 500,000 Explorers for a faulty speed control system that may not disengage.
This past October Ford recalled 262,000 Fiesta’s to fix an airbag problem.
The very latest Ford Fusion recall is for a missing steering gear retaining clip that can result in a loss of steering (thankfully only 20 vehicles involved).
All of these recalls came just in the last few months and there are others but since 2009 Ford leads all manufacturers in the world in recalls. Just the three of fire hazard recalls involve well over a half a million vehicles. So, Ford is at the very bottom of the JD Powers quality survey, not just for some MFT issues, not because JD Powers or Consumer reports are untrustworthy, not because some supplier screwed up and not because all journalism is dead. Ford is in this position because they have a “systemic” problem in their engineering and quality control units.
Ford designs these cars and their systems. And obviously outside contractors have to be used in this industry. However, it is Ford who either hands them the design and when that is not the case, Ford submits the parameters. Even if Ford purchased an entire system such as a Borg Warner 4WD system, it is Ford’s responsibility to integrate it and test it to their satisfaction. Ford claims to lead the world in quality control programs using 3D mapping, PPR, simulators etc. which can identify a mechanical defect years before a vehicle even goes into production. And it’s not all hype. These tools do in fact exist. So what’s the problem then?
If this was just a supplier screw up or anything thing else beyond Ford’s control, it would just be a blip along the way or two blips. But this is an avalanche that has been moving with greater momentum as the months go by. Unfortunately there are no signs of things getting better. Whether you look at JD Powers or the recalls it is very clear as to the direction Ford has been going. Although there is some truth in the release of new models often yielding new problems, let’s be clear many, many manufacturers release new models and go years without one recall, safety or otherwise.
When I ordered my FFH the aluminum pedals were on the dealer order sheet (I have a copy of it) and they just shipped the car without the pedals and without any notification to me. Others received their cars without the leather shift knob that they paid for. Ford is not dishonest. They are simply disjointed. That is why I say it is a “systemic” problem. They cannot surgically repair this. It’s time to own it, clean house and focus (pun intended).
As a 2013 FFH owner, I was not involved in those any of those fire hazard recalls. But I feel like I’m dodging bullets here. Does the next fire hazard have my family’s name on it? Many of these safety recalls take months and even years to completely reveal themselves. We can presume that there are more to come.
Even if Ford somehow magically inserted the best automotive engineers and the most effective quality control program tonight at midnight, it would still take at least two years for the currently identified and unidentified quality issues to run their course.
Many of us on this forum are the ones who are responsible for choosing this vehicle to put our family members in. There were 600 complaints of leaks before Ford issued the overheating recall and there may have been legitimate reasons for waiting that long. But as forum members we do not help ourselves by trying to explain this, excusing this away or in any way tacitly accepting this onslaught. The best way to keep Ford vigilant in dealing with us in regard to these safety related problems that we did not bargain for is to respond to these events with all our voices raised in a chorus of concern.