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Certain LPG-Converted Ford Trucks Recalled Over Corroding Fuel Lines

Roush CleanTech, a Michigan-based company specialized in alternative fuel technology, has recently filed a recall with the National Highway Traffic Administration. The subject population of vehicles, consisting of heavy- and medium-duty trucks produced by the Ford Motor Company, were fitted with fuel lines that may corrode because of a doltish oversight.
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Back in October 2020, the peeps at Roush CleanTech were informed that a couple of Blue Bird school buses in Pennsylvania had experienced fuel return line fitting failures about three weeks apart, caused by corrosion. Similar warranty claims were reported throughout 2021, and by spring 2022, they had received a total of 19 claims, all of them from the Salt Belt. Curiously enough, none of the vehicles were altered by Roush CleanTech.

The company started investigating both Salt Belt and non-Salt Belt vehicles in 2021. More than 166 vehicles later, a handful of corroded fittings were observed. In light of these findings, Roush CleanTech decided to conduct salt spray testing to better understand the root cause of this condition. Lo and behold, some zinc-plated carbon steel fuel return line fittings on Gen 4 and Gen 5 Roush Cleantech LPG fuel conversion kits installed on vehicles operating in the Salt Belt states are prone to galvanic-reaction corrosion.

Also known as dissimilar metal corrosion or bimetallic corrosion, galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially when in electrical contact with another metal. Roush CleanTech used stainless steel for the crimp collar and zinc-plated carbon steel for the fitting. The galvanic reaction occurs in the Salt Belt’s road conditions due to a combination of road debris pecking on the zinc-plated carbon steel fitting, road salt, and moisture. The ¼-inch fuel return line is supplied by a Troy, Michigan-based company called Detroit Flex Defense.

RCT implemented wrap-and-loom protection in the production of E- and F-Series vehicles on November 16th, 2021. The recalled population consists of LPG-converted examples of the Ford E-350, F-450 and F-550, F53 and F59, as well as the F-650 and F-750. The build dates for these vehicles range from August 21st, 2015 to November 16th, 2021. Although the company hasn’t yet provided a schedule for recall notification, RCT dealers have been instructed to replace the fuel return lines, free of charge.

 Download attachment: Roush CleanTech corrosion recall (PDF)


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