Ford EcoBoost Lawsuit – Defects, Flaws, Assembly Problems

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By now most every truck fan knows that Ford has been charge air cooler humidity issue causing limp mode. Is the lawsuit a big deal or small potatoes?

Ford EcoBoost Lawsuit

Ford has been sued by a three owners who say the truck was built and designed poorly. Big deal or small potatoes?

The lawsuit, so far, has just three owners who are saying that 3.5-L V6 EcoBoost engine “contained serious latent design, manufacturing, or assembly defects,” according to an story. Essentially, the complaint is that these defects cause the truck to go into limp mode (a rather scary driving event).

Now we have covered this issue before, the issue resides in humidity building up in the charge air cooler. This build up leads to the water getting to the engine which triggers safety sensors that puts the engine in “safe” (or limp) mode. The story we hear is that the part is actually performing “too well” and it is cooling the hot humid air too quickly causing condensation to build up.

Ford has developed a replacement part and is fixing vehicles on a as needed basis. The haven’t issued any recall yet nor have they directly notified owners of the issue (as far as we know).

Here is the truth as we see it. The lawsuit is garbage in that the design doesn’t have any latent design, manufacturing or assembly defects. Frankly, the problem is simply the design works too well. The place where we take exception is in the communication of the problem. Ford SHOULD have come right out and said, we know there is a problem, here is the fix and please have it fixed for free. They could have easily notified the NHTSA about the issue, gathered a list of owners and mailed a letterTHAT is the piece that the lawsuit should address.

Now, we could very well see this lawsuit grow and become a class action suit. It is interesting that all three of the owners are in Ohio (why not Florida, Alabama, Georgia, etc…). They could easily find more owners having this issue by searching forums and auto registration data.

The facts are that we live in a world with immediate information sharing, video and social media. Automakers, as a whole, have to know that if one owner experiences an issue the rest will know within a short matter of time. They need to be pro-active on the public relations end of things and not re-active.

What do you think? Is the lawsuit a big deal?

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  1. LJC says:

    Should this
    “sued for the limp mode causing charge air cooler humidity issue”

    read “charge air cooler humidity issue causing limp mode”

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Good catch. I read and wrote that a few times, I thought I had it. πŸ™‚ To err is human, I suppose. I adjusted the article.


  2. Larry says:

    If Ford can sell millions of engines which can’t even have the spark plugs changed, this water in the intake issue is nothing.

    It will be forgotten as soon as the fix is in place.

    I wonder how people will feel when they have to spend 3000 in 5 years to replace the turbochargers. That will make lower MPG of the 6L F250 look like a good deal.

  3. mk says:

    people don’t think ahead say 4-5 years from now on reliability. All they think is WOW, this engine is great has plenty of snap off the line and gets decent mpg. Will see in 5-6 years how it holds up. I may eat my words, but NO V6 of any kind should be in a full sized pickup. Never did like turbo’s for longevity, but are fun to drive. Am sure it will beat the 5.7L non supercharged tundra engine off the line, but the tundra will catch up to the ford ecoboost in the 1/4 mile. I wonder about pulling power as well I still would think the tundra’s engine and rear axle ratio and tranny would be better for pulling than the ford.

    • E says:


    • Bill Johnson says:

      This is my 22nd new Ford truck. I have always loved Ford trucks, but this Ecoboost is garbage. In the first year it spent 129 days being repaired. I have pleaded with Ford to let me help them fix it, they ignore me, want nothing to do with me or fixing my truck. I don’t want anything from them, just wan them to do the right thing. I realize, mistakes happen, but to treat me the way they have has cost them a life long customer. Wednesday, I have an arbitration hearing, I either want them to take the truck back or work out a diminished value settlement. I probably will never own another Ford, unless they do something over and above, I am pretty sure they will find a way to screw me, but we shall see. The other issue I am having with the truck is the driver’s seat comes undone from the floor. They tell me they have never seen this problem, but it has happened twice and I sure it is in the process of happening again, all the symptoms of the first 2 failures. All I want them to do is respect the fact my truck has serious issues.

      • Tim Esterdahl says:


        That is awful! We hope you can get some resolution from your problems with the truck. While, we like the Tundra – no truck owner should go through what you have.


  4. Mickey says:

    Agree mk about towing. Until the big 3 get off their duffs and do what they said they would do and join the “J” standards this will be nothing but a pipe dream. Larry I agree also where the spark plugs blown out never amounted to much other than a TSB. What may help the 3 that sued is when the rest of the Ford owners who had/have that issue may/will join in on this. We live in a sue country so I can see this get out of hand. I personally don’t see what going into limp mode could cause a crash. My truck did the same it just didn’t have the power to pass/pull then. You can easily get over without any issues other than embarassment of being broke down in a new Ford vehicle. It happens to all as did happen to myself when tranny went out. Just so happen to be right in front of a tranny place. It happened in my 06 Silverado where the taillight fell off on both sides at different times on the interstate traveling from Savannah to Jacksonville. Yes it was embarassing when someone tells you your taillight is hanging while doing 70 mph.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I can see a limp mode issue causing a less experienced/poor driver concerns. And I can see someone, like my wife, being so mad she would want to sue. So, on those points, I respectfully disagree. πŸ™‚


  5. Brian J says:

    I think this will blow over like the air injection pump issue did with the Tundra. Ford will warrant the Ecoboost for a longer period of time, people will be satisfied, and it will be over. The end. To make more out of it is ridiculous. What exactly are they suing for anyway? They had to take their trucks in for warranty work? That’s life. I don’t care who you are in today’s world every vehicle needs warranty work. My 2010 Tundra has seen the inside of the Toyota dealership shop for warranty issues way more than any other vehicle I have ever owned (includes my 99 Ford Explorer). Doesn’t mean its a bad truck. Some people are so stupid.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Brian J,

      I agree with you to a point in that Ford has addressed and has fixed the problem when a customer has complained. I just think they could have communicated the issue to current owners and avoid any “scary” driving experiences.


      • Justin says:

        Agree with Brian J. And to your point, did Toyota reach out to all Tundra owners expressing the issues with the air injection pump issue?

        As with any issue, this is hit or miss and could impact some trucks, but not all. So why would Toyota or Ford contact all owners about said issue if it doesn’t impact that owner/truck?

    • Bill Johnson says:

      They did offer me tires and oil changes for the life of the vehicle? At the same time telling me there was nothing wrong with the truck. If there is nothing wrong, why are they offering me free stuff? The thing that scares the hell out of a person is when you are traveling on a busy 2 lane highway, go to pass a log truck and get into the oncoming lane, when you mash on the gas to get around the log truck and the engine just goes flat and your space in the lane you were traveling in closes. You cannot get back in, you cannot pass and now there is a car oncoming, not comfortable…

  6. LJC says:

    I’m all for the lawsuit. May be now Ford will do something. Look how long it took Ford to issue a recall for the F150’s that could burst into flames!

    Most companies will do what they can get away with, period. Based on past Ford recalls, I’m not surprised Ford is dragging their feet. GM, Dodge/RAM/MeltingPoint are the same way.

    Toyota on the other hand would have issued a recall and fixed it. Toyota is not perfect, but they are more responsible. This the main reason why Toyota has higher recall numbers than other manufacturers.

    There have been at least a one hundred other complaints brought to NHSTA’s attention on this Ecoboost problem. To see the problem first hand, check out the videos on this youtube channel:

    Drivers prone to this defect are those who will drive their truck “economically”, which is to be expected, and if they live in an area with high humidity. So it’s more wide spread than articles on this lawsuit are stating.

    I doubt Ford will provide an extended warranty like Toyota did for the AIP problem. The reason is the AIP problem is emissions related and I believe federal law requires an auto manufacturer to cover emissions related defects for a specific period of time.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      No doubt the problem is more widespread and it is probably just a matter of time until this lawsuit swells with more plaintiffs. And I tend to agree that Toyota would have communicated the problem better. For better or worse, the better communication is more likely the fallout from the sticky gas pedal (non) issue.


  7. Mason says:

    This lawsuit is just stupid. There are millions of extremely happy EcoBoost owners out there. This is just three moron money launderers. Toyota has definitely had there fair share of being sued for no damn valid reason.

  8. Robert says:

    I think until you own one, you have no room to talk. I have been going through this from day ONE!!! I have been asking for a buy back from day ONE and FORD will not do ANYTHING to solve my problems. They have installed a restricter plate and the intercooler and reflashing the truck five or more times and my truck will still stall and lose all power and NOT throw a code, so when I go in the dealership the service department and FORD says there is nothing they can do. This is all because the ECM is flawed. You can have the truck running pull off the coil wire and it still won’t throw a misfire code.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      We aren’t trying to deny your problem exists. It is just our understanding that Ford had sufficiently addressed this issue. Our apologies since it sounds like this isn’t the case in your situation.


      • Robert says:

        Sorry to come off so strong in the first response, but I am still going through this and it is killing me to not get this resolved the was it should be. But that is what Ford wants you to think, that everything is all well and you should buy an ecoboost, which is not the case. Majority of drivers don’t put an a lot of miles on there truck every year. The average is about 15,000 per year. Everything works fine when just riding around town since you aren’t running the truck long enough to build up any condensation, but when you go on a road trip and try to pass a slow moving vehichle on a two lane highway or try to merge back on the interstate with an 18 wheeler in the right lane and the truck shuts down that’s where your problems start. I have been trying to get Ford to repurchase my truck from day One and they said they wouldn’t, now there excuse is that I have 44,000 miles. If they wouldn’t buy it with 1,000 miles or 44,000 I don’t think they ever will and this will be the last Ford I will ever own. The information that the Ford service reps is full of misleading information and if I knew I would get the money (and not the attorney) from a lawsuit, I would of been first in line to sue.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          No worries. We realize that this is a tough issue for Ford truck owners. Have you gotten the new charge air cooler installed and did that do anything? We are led to believe that that part fixes the condensation buildup. Let us know.


    • mr says:

      i worked for ford for 35 years,i quit three weeks ago because of a 3.5 Eco boost.2012 f150 20,000 miles,needs a timeing chain.just looking at the job made me sick,i dont want to be sick so i quit my job.when they came out with tarus and sable they design it drove it 50,000 fixed any flaws before they put it on the market,had a few trany problems when they design a car or truck they just put it on the road,they actualy call it fix it on the can have two cars same make same model same engine,one 2011 one 2012 and they have two different intake manifolds.i just do not see the sense.i
      hope to find a job.

    • Bill Johnson says:

      The next time the engine boggs down, press the gas peddle rapidly 6 or 7 times, it will cause it to destroy a coil pack or 2, then you will get the ECM code. That is what happened in mine the 4th time the engine failed. It cost like 12 thousand dollars to fix…

  9. Robert says:

    I did have the new CAC installed back in November when Ford first came out with the supposed fix and have had the truck reflashed multiple times with no avail. With the new CAC it might help the smallest bit, but the truck still has the same problem as before. What makes me the most aggravated, is when it happens the ECM records nothing so when you go to the dealership they talk with Ford then just send you on your way and fix nothing or just reflash the truck. Then it happens the next week with the same results at the dealership. I have had my truck there at least nine times and it is currently there and has been there for a week with still no results. I’m really not expecting it to be fixed or replaced this week either. If I had the extra money I would make this truck a rolling advertisement for the Ecoboost Lemons.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Two other questions: Do you know many other owners like yourself? Do you live in a state with a lemon law?


  10. Robert says:

    If you research ford forums you will find people with these problems all day long. I even saw a Youtube video where a guy pulls off his coil wire and drives his truck around and still no warning light or code for misfire. I live in Louisiana and we do have the Lemon Law, but if I got an attorney they would get all of the money and when I talk to Ford about it all they say is my truck does not meet the requirements which it does two fold. When I ask them what requirements it does not meet they change the subject and won’t answer my question. I have dealt with Mark the service rep with Ford, his boss Mary, her boss Richard and his boss Jesuis. Jesuis is pretty much the main guy and he said I should take it up with my local BBB, which all they will do it arbitrate the claim, and probably tell Ford to buy the truck back, less the reimbursment for the mileage I put on the truck at $.50 per mile, which will leave me with about $5,000 and the truck is currently paid off. If you have any suggests on what I should, I’m all ears. Thanks

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Hmm… That stinks. Maybe somebody on here has a good idea on what to do. I’m out of ideas since it seems you have done the right steps.


  11. Robert says:

    Here is another lawsuit that is filed in Louisiana, you could also read the court papers that were filed if you navigate through.

  12. Mike S. says:

    They should recall the EB trucks since there is no fix for the Limp mode Inter cooler issues. The new intercooler and flash does nothing to fix this issue. If you live in a humid area don’t buy the EB.

    Ford should be forced to recall these vehicles now. I think it’s coming. It’s more than three vehicles. I’m betting it’s 80-90% of them in humid areas.
    Go to FTE and you’ll see it’s a very common issue with no fix.

    I almost bought and F150 with the EB engine. It’s head and shoulders better than the tundras we drove. At least it has a 6.5′ bed in the crew cab configuration.

  13. Robert says:

    It happens more often in humid areas, but I have even been places that were in a drought and it still happened.

  14. Mickey says:

    Robert you need to go ahead and file with BBB for arbitration. Once that is done which they will side with Ford. Been there with GM and Ford. Lost both times. Then you file with state attorney who gets involved with the case. If everyone did this the state attorney would see the picture developing. Your lemon law book tells you how to file. With Ford it was my 03 F-150 and the dang computer. It took over 21 times for them to final fix it and I was there to get my replacement truck and then was told no since they fixed the truck. I demanded the replacement for my troubles with this truck and Ford told me to pack sand. So I went that day and traded the 03 F-150 for a 06 Silverado LT3. From the frying pan and into the fire with the GM crap. How many times it takes to replace and fix a falling headliner? What was sad is that the arbitrator agreed with me about the headliner and that if it wasn’t for the sunroof it would fall all the way down. Yet the arbitrator sided with GM because of their letter stating they had a great warranty. If they did why did it take 11x then I traded it in. Had way too many issues and the way GM customer care treated me along with their area rep. Area rep accused me of pulling down the headliner of the truck. I lost it and said yes I buy a $36k truck just to drive 40 miles to the farthest dealership to fix it. He didn’t listen to a word I said till he did the demonstration I told him to do and he saw exactly what I was talking about. I saw red and wanted his throat. I was pulled away before I got to him. General Manager sends me an email stating I will never get a replacement truck because a headliner isn’t a safety related issue. This isn’t the only issue I had with this truck. Steering wheel noise 2x, Both taillights fell off and truck had to be painted, 3x abs vibration in braking. After 2 months the sunroof stuck open. I was blamed for not greasing the tracks, after owning it 2 months? After losing in arbitration that broke me and I traded it in after 18 months. I should have taken it to the state attorney for the issue.

  15. Mickey says:

    It hit the evening news today. Now it hits the fan. Stand aside or get hit with $%^#.

  16. Randy says:

    Here are the facts as of May 28, 2013:

    Ford has known about this problem for over two years. As of today they have absolutely no solution(s) for this problem. It is Ford that has requested the NHTSA to begin the Federal Investigation for their own lawsuit protection. It is strictly a numbers game for Ford and that is what they are counting on to save face. If you Google deeply enough you will see there are already several suits in several states across the USA on the F150 Ecoboost. This is “exactly” no different than Ford’s and its Dealers pushing the F250/350 EGR/Oil Cooler failures beyond the six year limit so they did not have to pay for it; and Ford just recently won the Federal Class Action screwing its customers. There are many former F250/350 owners who will never get the $4,000 to $5,000 repair cost back and yet many of those trucks were failing at just 2 years of age and less than 30,000 miles.
    Another common myth both in the “Press” and on the “Forums”: “…This build up (condensation) leads to the water getting to the engine which triggers safety sensors that puts the engine in “safe” (or limp) mode”. There is a major problem with that statement: There are many cases with Ford’s slow computers cannot kick in fast enough to protect the engine; at worse the engine block breaks or at the very least the engine and/or transmission incurs significant damage.
    Again this is a numbers game for Ford. They can retain more profits via whatever they may lose in the courts vs. actually solving the problems for their customers and this is the path they have chosen.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Great points! Thanks for the insight. I can’t speak to any of the numbers game points you bring up, because I simply don’t know enough. The theory seems sound to me though.


  17. Pat says:

    The people that had the new intercooler installed on a 2011 and 2012 but still have problems need to have their spark plugs gapped to .30 This solves the problem. There was a gap change on the 2013.

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