Ford Recalls North American EcoSport Over Seemingly Benign Issue

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Ford announced a minor recall for the 2018 EcoSport involving brake fluid reservoir caps and user manuals. While these are technically “faulty” components, they weren’t broken or incorrectly manufactured. They were, brace yourself, European.

The automaker says it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries relating to the parts — and we would be completely astonished if it had. But the recall is going through anyway because Euro-spec components on an American vehicle is the ultimate taboo for regulators. Parts intended for foreign markets on domestic cars is a sick-and-twisted automotive fetish best left to Anglophiles and JDM enthusiasts.

However we doubt either demographic purchased the EcoSport, since it is manufactured in Ford’s Chennai Assembly Plant in India. Built between October of 2017 and March of 2018, the affected models only number 273 strong. Those are small potatoes compared to a recall from earlier this year that affected nearly 1.4 million examples of the Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZ.

Unlike those cars, the EcoSport issue doesn’t involve steering wheels that may come loose and detach from the steering column. In fact, assuming those reservoir caps are a snug fit, the worst thing we could possibly imagine is someone finding incorrect information in the European owner’s manual.

Ford also made mention of an even smaller recall on the 2018 F-650 and F-750. The company is worried that their parking brake cables may not have been shipped with adequate tension. Fearing the potential risk of a rollaway incident, Ford is recalling 151 models. While putting the pickups into park should be sufficient to avoid disaster, the manufacturer recommends chocking the wheels before leaving the vehicle unattended. Although, if you’re driving a rig this large, odds are good it’ll be in a lockup when you aren’t using it for work.

For the EcoSport, Ford says dealers will replace the brake fluid reservoir cap and owners’ manual kit with the versions required by federal motor vehicle safety standards at no cost to the customer. The same goes for any big F-Series needing some cable tightening.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on May 21, 2018

    Wow, Ford taketh away the 'car' models and giveth this heap? It was sold in Europe as a cynical effort from the far east to cash in on the small SUV craze. Believe it or not, this is actually the updated model. The original European model was so universally panned by critics that they rushed to release an update. Early "even worse" models are identified by a distinctive rear wheel on the back door (that at least made the swing-open make sense). Though when Ford gets it wrong they usually follow it up with a strong follow up. Without the horrific 1990 Euro Escort we wouldn't have gotten as good a car as the Focus.

  • Sub-600 Sub-600 on May 21, 2018

    The EcoSport is just a butch Tata Nano.

  • Jeff Self driving cars are not ready for prime time.
  • Lichtronamo Watch as the non-us based automakers shift more production to Mexico in the future.
  • 28-Cars-Later " Electrek recently dug around in Tesla’s online parts catalog and found that the windshield costs a whopping $1,900 to replace.To be fair, that’s around what a Mercedes S-Class or Rivian windshield costs, but the Tesla’s glass is unique because of its shape. It’s also worth noting that most insurance plans have glass replacement options that can make the repair a low- or zero-cost issue. "Now I understand why my insurance is so high despite no claims for years and about 7,500 annual miles between three cars.
  • AMcA My theory is that that when the Big 3 gave away the store to the UAW in the last contract, there was a side deal in which the UAW promised to go after the non-organized transplant plants. Even the UAW understands that if the wage differential gets too high it's gonna kill the golden goose.
  • MKizzy Why else does range matter? Because in the EV advocate's dream scenario of a post-ICE future, the average multi-car household will find itself with more EVs in their garages and driveways than places to plug them in or the capacity to charge then all at once without significant electrical upgrades. Unless each vehicle has enough range to allow for multiple days without plugging in, fighting over charging access in multi-EV households will be right up there with finances for causes of domestic strife.
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