NHTSA Investigates Ford F-Series Super Duty V8 Diesel Trucks Over Engine Compartment Fires

Ford F-Series Super Duty 9 photos
Photo: Ford / edited
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The Ford Motor Company has been hit with a probe into diesel-powered Super Duty trucks produced for the 2015 through 2021 model years, ranging from the F-250 all the way to the F-550. If the federal watchdog's preliminary investigation ends with a safety recall, the Dearborn-based automaker will have to fix an estimated 210,960 pickup trucks.
PE24014 was prompted by 27 complaints alleging fuel leaks resulted from a fracture in the secondary fuel filter housing. The suspect filters were produced by Allevard Sogefi USA of Prichard, West Virginia. The Sogefi Group, which is controlled by Italy's Compagnie Industriali Riunite, is headquartered in Milan.

Of the aforementioned 27 complaints, 12 describe an engine compartment fire. Given the proximity of the secondary fuel filter to very hot components, an underhood fire is likely in the event of a leak. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation has contacted both Allevard Sogefi USA and the Ford Motor Company for more details on this rather worrying matter.

Turns out 2015 to 2021 model year F-Series Super Duty trucks equipped with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 feature a low-pressure fuel system capable of 8.5 bar, whereas the secondary fuel filter is tested at no more than 7 bar during production. It's not clear whether the supplier bears the blame alone or if the automaker also knew about the 7-bar testing of a fuel filter that should take 8.5 bar.

However, the attached preliminary investigation resume states that "changes starting in 2022 by both Ford and Sogefi align with a lack of similar complaints on model years 2022 and newer vehicles." This choice of words is utmost interesting, and the same can be said about Ford's reluctance to recall potentially affected trucks after implementing the 2022 model year changes.

Ford F\-Series Super Duty
Photo: Ford
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration vernacular, a preliminary investigation is opened to evaluate a potential issue and to assess safety-related problems. Of the 12 complaints alleging an engine compartment fire in 2015 to 2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke V8 diesel pickup trucks, three of them resulted in four injuries.

The Super Duty is currently listed by Ford's online configurator as a 2024 model, with prices kicking off at $44,970 for the F-250 XL Regular Cab 4x2 with the eight-foot bed, single rear wheels, and the 6.8-liter pushrod V8 gas engine. Prospective customers are further presented with a punchier 7.3-liter gasser, while the Power Stroke is available in either standard- or high-output specifications.

In the F-250, the Power Stroke adds $9,995 to the final price of the vehicle. Opting for the high-output version means $12,495 over the 6.8er, but it makes plenty of sense if you intend to use said truck as intended. The second-largest automaker of the Big Three in Detroit claims 500 horsepower and a mountain-moving 1,200 pound-feet (1,627 Nm).

Because of this engine, Super Duty offers best-in-class diesel gooseneck and conventional tow ratings of 40,000 and 30,000 pounds, respectively, meaning 18,144 and 13,608 kilograms. When it comes to payload, the upper limit for the Power Stroke is 6,965 pounds (3,159 kilograms).
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 Download: 2015 - 2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke V8 NHTSA investigation (PDF)

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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