Ford Australia has confirmed it is contacting almost 43,000 Focus owners to warn of a vehicle defect that could cause a fire.
The alarm bells rang this week after Ford discovered that a blocked carbon canister in the fuel line could cause the fuel tank to crack, resulting in a leak which could lead to a fire if close to an ignition source.
Ford said it is writing to all owners of certain Focus models built from April 12, 2011 through to September 29, 2015. It has also posted a list of the vehicle identification numbers of affected cars.
Owners are urged to contact their Ford dealer for an inspection and rectification.
The safety recall is unrelated to an incident in Melbourne in 2016 when a 2012-model Focus burst into flames. The owner said the car was heavily smoking for about four minutes before flames engulfed the car.
Ford Australia spokesperson Martin Gunsberg said there have been no reported incidents of any Focus models catching alight that have been attributed to the latest recall.
"We are carrying out the recall because we have noticed a few canisters have become blocked with dust," he said.
"The blockage can lead to a vacuum being created in the fuel line and fuel tank and this could cause the fuel tank to split."
Mr Gunsberg said there had been a few cases where the fuel tanks have leaked and attributed to a blocked canister, but there had been no reports of any related fires.
"Drivers would first notice an erratic fuel gauge that may show a higher-than-normal reading, would be aware of the smell of fuel and notice fuel drops under the car."
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