The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating reports that the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines in the Ford F-150 can stumble and lose power. The agency has received 95 reports of pickup truck engines stumbling or misfiring on the highway, which can lead to a loss of power.
The stalling problem affects the 2011-2013 Ford F-150 equipped with an EcoBoost twin-turbocharged engine, and about a third of the complaints occurred during wet or humid weather. NHTSA hasn't received any reports of crashes resulting from this problem, but is investigating nonetheless. NHTSA safety investigations sometimes, but not always, lead to recalls.
Ford has reportedly issued a technical service bulletin to dealers recommending they inspect the intercooler for moisture accumulation, reprogram the engine computer, and install a new intercooler and an air deflector plate. Owners of affected vehicles from Ohio and Louisiana have reportedly sued Ford over the "defective" engines because the V-6 can suffer a power reduction during highway merging or passing.
Ford has built more than half a million EcoBoost engines since 2009, of which more than 400,000 have been sold in the U.S. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 from the Ford F-150 is also employed in the Taurus SHO, Explorer Sport, Flex, and Lincoln MKS and MKT.
Sources: Detroit Free Press, NHTSA