According to Automotive News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching a probe into 400,000 Ford F-150 models over possible acceleration problems. According to the article, NHTSA has received 95 reports "alleging incidents of reduced engine power during hard accelerations" on 2011 to 2013 F-150 models equipped with the company's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.

Automotive News reports that Ford has issued three technical service bulletins "related to intermittent stumble/misfire on acceleration from highway cruise in humid or damp conditions," according to the government agency's documents. About one third of the 95 reports NHTSA has received cited humid or rainy conditions when these problems allegedly occurred.

These technical service bulletins have allowed dealers to address a "condition related to moisture accumulation in the charge air cooler during extended highway cruising at constant throttle in humid or damp conditions," AN reports, citing NHTSA documents. Furthermore, the TSB outlines details for "reprogramming the powertrain control module with the latest calibration and installing a new CAC and air deflector plate."

A Ford spokesperson told Automotive News that the company "will cooperate with the NHTSA investigation, as we always do."

Ford was recently involved in a bit of lawsuit trouble regarding its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, where plaintiffs in Ohio claimed that the engine "contained serious latent design, manufacturing, or assembly defects." One of those alleged defects was that the engine could lose power quickly, which could certainly be related to this NHTSA probe.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      sodamninsane
      • 1 Year Ago
      You guys are all missing the point about the numbers. NHTSA is starting the investigation to discover how many total trucks are affected by this issue, regardless of the 95 that have been reported to NHTSA directly. Even if 5% of the customers (20,000 vehicles) have come into ford dealers for this "issue" it's still not very big... Not GM Piston slap big anyway. The reality is Ford will have to either fix the trucks or have there ecoboost reputation tarnished forever. Hopefully it is something simple, like a software goof or small hardware change, if not... well, sh!t happens and then you die.
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sodamninsane
        Nothing is wrong with the engine. The position of the intercooler and nature of its design leads to accumulation of water which can restrict flow or send sometimes large amounts of water into the intercooler. This is typically in more humid climates but not always in humid conditions as it takes a while for condensation to build in the system.
        dukeisduke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sodamninsane
        Don't forget, Ford built some 5.4s that were slappers, too.
      mojotrongt
      • 1 Year Ago
      If not for the service bulletin, I would attribute a loss of power in wet conditions to traction control limiting the vehicles' output. Crazy that the turbos don't heat the air enough to dry it out before the intercooler.
      dibbage
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is a similar issue with the ecoboost in the Range Rover Evoque. On humid or rainy days, condensation builds up in the intercooler and under heavy acceleration, the water is sucked into the system. There is an ECU update for the Evoque on this too. I was told the intercooler is actually too efficient...
        sodamninsane
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dibbage
        Too bad GM has the patent for the drip tube underneath the CAC to help syphon out the water at a "metered" rate, which prevents the sputtering. Engines can ingest a lot of water, just not "all" at once. The solstice gxp / sky redline have a similar issue, where the rain cools off the CAC so much that it acts as a condenser, and brings all the water out of the air after the turbo. There is a small u-shaped tube that collects the water and has an orifice to prevent it from being sucked into the engine all at once on a hard accel... mmmm... I'm sure ford could license such technology from there inferior government motors counterparts... since ya know, ecoboost is so new and all..
      David
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have a 2013 F-150 King Ranch with the 3.5 EB V6. I have this issue. .It has rough idle and misfires going down the highway. My truck lost power in the middle of an intersection and took a couple seconds to recover...Ford doesn't have a fit for it yet. Im getting 13.1 mpg and when I tow a trailer I get 7.2 mpg! So much for the towing power of an Ecoboost. I bought the truck new in April and am currently pursing lemon law rights to get full refund less paying for mileage used.
        Mahn Miyakawa
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David
        David, buy the new tundra 2014 5.7, the best truck ever. I have a 2100 lbs camper on the truck and towing a 5000 lbs boat and some equipment on the 20' north river, doing 70 mph up a hill with no issue. Averaging 11.5 mpg with all of this equipment. My best mileage was 20.8 mpg with 3 guys, Canopy, 8 scuba tanks and 3 sets of diving equipment, coming home from Hoodsport and cruising at 70. City driving will bring it down to around 15 mpg. This truck is a work horse. just now
      m.loughnan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bought a new 2011 Ford crewcab with the twinn turbo Ecoboost, drove it for 19,000 miles without any problems whatsoever. No problems with power or quick excelleration. This engine has 365 HP and 420 ft lbs of torque. I live in southeast Alabama where there is almost constantly high humidity and heat. This truck can and did outperform the Ram 5.7 liter V-8 easily, and the Ram hemi has 390 hp and only 404 ft lbs of torque, and Chevy's small V-8 can't even compare either. I also got 23-24 mpg highway and 18-19 city mpg, again the Ram and Chevy can't compare with it's towing power in torque. The new 14 model Ram V-6 supposedly gets 25 mpg hwy, right?? don't believe that for a second. Also the same Ram with the V-6 has what?? 276 ft lbs of torque, what a joke. I have had both a Ram in the past as well as a chevy truck, supercabs and they were truely a disappointment in performance and fuel economy. I recently traded my 2011 ecoboost Ford Truck for a new 13 Ford Supercab 4X4 Offroad with all XLT packages to include bucket seats. I am very happy with it and will continue to purchase Ford Trucks when I ever want to trade again. Fit and finish is great and no problems, well put together. I haven't used myford sync yet, don't have or want a cell phone, but I have read the sync system has it's voice recognition problems. Other than that, when I step on it to pass , it moves out with virtually no turbo lag. Sorry Ram and Chevy Truck owners, even tho they have been updated to be better, they still fall short of the Ford Ecoboost 3.5 L V-6 Twinn Turbos Ecoboost. I love mine, it's without doubt the best truck and engine/6 speed automatic on the market.
      Finklestein
      • 1 Year Ago
      Case and point: EcoBoom ain't ready for prime time quite yet
        The_Zachalope
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Finklestein
        So, because .02% of the 3.5L GTDI engines in this truck are having issues, they're all bad? Right...
      Luke
      • 1 Year Ago
      95 out of 400k? My calculator puts that at .02%. Really? And considering this rarely results in a limp-home condition, and most frequently a slight hesitation that sorts itself out fairly quickly, it seems like this is being made into a mountain from a mole hill.
      CEC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Studies have already shown that small turbo motors don't get as good of fuel economy as their similarly powered naturally aspirated counterparts. IMO ford should dump ecoboost and put more r&d into na engines.
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CEC
        Seeing as how my Mazdaspeed3 is rated at 25mpg and I typically AVERAGE over 26mpg (hand calculated) while getting up to 35mpg highway (hand calculated) I have to strongy disagree. My wifes grandparents also have a 1.6 EB and that thing easily gets in the 30's combined and they're no light foots... they've said since they got that car they've found that they get up to 75-80mph without even noticing it. The 2.5 with similar power levels is no match for the 1.6.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CEC
        While the EB doesn't get a HUGE bump over the 5.0 it's still a little better, and even more noticeably better in fuel economy over the 6.2. That right there debunks your 'study."
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too many moving parts vs Ram and GM to get no performance or gas mileage advantage. if the parts aren't there they can't break.
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MAX
        please, which version of the Ram and GM lineup can tow as much along with the 20 plus mileage rating?.....
          MAX
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          8 speed ram Hemi and the new 2014 Chevy Silverado 5.3 are quite competitive and have 3 less cams, 2 less turbos and no overhead cam belt.
          DeathKnoT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          The ecoboost does not use a cam belt. It uses a chain.
      56Jalopy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I used to be a nay sayer on turbos but after 2 million miles with turbos on big trucks with only one failure ( truck had over 1 million miles on it) I say we'll engineered turbos are a reliable way to boost power. Ford is on the right track, hope they make it work.
        Rayvan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @56Jalopy
        I had one fail on a Toyota MR2 @ 135,000 miles. What a pain. 20 Hrs. of my own time, as nearly every exhaust bolt/stud broke upon removal, and $2,500.00 in parts (nearly what the car was worth at the time) and I still had a ten yr. old car with a ten yr. old engine). Never again.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rayvan
          Yes, a valid comparison. A brand new vehicle vs a 10 yr old car.
      Jesse
      • 1 Year Ago
      My dad has one of these EcoBoost F150\'s and loves it. The first time I drove it I was absolutely blown away at home much power it had and how easily it moved such a big truck. He has close to 20K on it now and hasn\'t had a singe complaint. I\'m impressed that Ford actually stepped up and starting using technology that proves you don\'t need huge displacement to make power in their trucks. Turbo engines can be incredibly efficient if you keep your foot out of it. Something the truck market really needed. Plus, anyone that says turbo vehicles aren\'t reliable must have been living under a rock for the past 20 years. I\'ve personally driven several turbo cars well past the 200K mark with no to minimal issues. Basic stuff but that\'s about it. It\'s all in how you maintain the car and how you drive it. Same as anything else. This whole thing is about a small group of trucks that have one small issue that only happens during a very specific set of circumstances. Even then, it\'s not the like the truck is blowing up or stopping dead in it\'s tracks.. It has a slight momentary bog in power. Big Woopty Doo.. Ford will fix it and off ya go.. I\'d hardly call that a cause to condemn the entire engine line.. Give me a break..
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jesse
        It is a great engine.. but in order to get a fuel savings in real life you have to baby it AND many times have to buy premium fuel. The torque curves are better on turbos but that's where the advantages usually end. Turbos very rarely last 200,000 miles. Which mans $800-$1200 in parts costs + another $500-1000 in dealer installation costs. Yes, if you find a trustworthy shop (rare) or can do it yourself, you can save money. If laying off the throttle is your style, then why not get a multi displacement engine? Something that can run 4,6 or 8 cylinder on demand? Turbos add cost and complexity. There is no way around that. Turbos require at least $1,000 in materials even at manufacturer level with the piping, turbo, intercooler. Couple that with heat soak and engineering etc. True cost at mfg level is probably around $1,500 per vehicle. I love turbos for the performance / size of the engine ratio etc but they aren't for everyone. Trying to stay off boost in a 5,000+ truck is much harder (especially with any type of payload) versus a Ford Taurus.
          John
          • 1 Year Ago
          @graphikzking
          Turbos easily last over 200k miles when maintained as they should be. Look at any semi going down the road and you're looking at atleast one turbo.
        rollie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jesse
        How much did they pay you to flap this fanboy?
      m.loughnan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh, by the way, yes, I got the Ecoboost Motor with it. Don't want the 5.0 V-8, less hp and much less torque.
        Luke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @m.loughnan
        I have an '11 with the EB as well. There is NOTHING out there that's even close. With some very minor modifications you get close to the 6.2's power. With a tune on top of that, you can push well over 400hp and 500tq.
    • Load More Comments