NHTSA Opens Investigation Into More Than 210,000 Ford F-250 Diesel Trucks Over Fuel Leak, Fire Concerns

The probe impacts last-generation Super Duty trucks between the 2015 and 2021 model years

U.S. safety regulators launched an investigation into Ford over complaints of diesel fuel leaks in its Super Duty trucks.

On Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published documents outlining its preliminary evaluation of 210,960 Ford F-250 through F-550 trucks. Leading up to this investigation, the agency received no fewer than 27 complaints alleging diesel fuel leaks, including 12 reports of fires and four injuries.

Specifically, the problem stems from a fracture in the engine’s secondary fuel filter housing. The part supplier, Allevard Sogefi USA, said it only tested the secondary fuel filter to a pressure of 7 bar (101.5 psi) during the manufacturing process. Ford told the NHTSA the fuel system could actually run at an operating pressure of 8.5 bar (123.3 psi). According to the opening resume launching the probe, both parties made changes from model year 2022 onward, which is why current-generation trucks are unaffected by this particular investigation.

The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opens a preliminary evaluation to determine the scale and severity of a safety-related problem after the agency receives a host of complaints. In this case, the proximity of the secondary fuel filter to high heat sources can pose a serious risk for a fire, though there is not a formal recall to address the issue at this stage. Ford may voluntarily recall the trucks on its own, or the results of the ODI investigation could trigger a recall campaign at some point in the future.

Ford told reporters it is working with the NHTSA to support its investigation into this problem.