Ford Issues Fix For Focus RS Head Gasket Failure

According to Ford, the most notorious failure affecting the 2016 to 2017 Focus RS can be fixed through customer satisfaction program 17B32. Given these circumstances, don’t call it a recall, okay? On second thought, call it what you like considering how many people have been complaining.
2018 Ford Focus RS Red Edition 8 photos
Photo: Ford
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The Ford Motor Company calls out the Focus RS built in Saarlouis, Germany, from August 3, 2015 through July 6, 2017. That’s a lot of cars when you think about it, though the automaker doesn’t give the exact number of cars affected by the well-known problem.

There’s no mileage to limit the program, with Ford highlighting that the cylinder head gasket “may develop a coolant leak into the engine combustion chamber.” And as you know from countless video and photographic evidence of the problem, this scenario translates to low engine coolant, white exhaust smoke, and engine failure in some cases.

Authorized dealers were instructed to repair any Focus RS that shows up, whether or not the customer has received the letter for the customer satisfaction program. Something else owners need to know is that dealerships are pre-approved for up to four days for a rental vehicle.

Labor time varies from 9.2 to 10.3 hours, with the latter applicable if the cylinder head assembly also needs replacing. The cylinder head assembly can be replaced with the condition the engine doesn’t pass the cooling system’s pressure test. And yes, coolant fluid and engine oil are included.

Even though it seemed to take a long time for the Ford Motor Company to come clean about the innate fault with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost in the Focus RS, props to them for making things right in the eleventh hour. After all, the fourth generation of the Focus is right around the corner (coming in the next months), and RS production is planned to stop before mid-2018.

Ford made encouraging noises about the Mk4 RS, though it remains to be seen how much we’ll have to wait until the next hot Focus comes out.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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