In January 2021, a class action lawsuit was filed against Ford on behalf of owners and lessees of 2018-2020 Ford F-150 vehicles containing the 5.0L Coyote engines. According to the lawsuit and law firms involved, a recent investigation revealed these F-150 models may be prone to excessive engine oil consumption. This defect allegedly causes the vehicles to burn through engine oil at a faster rate and forces the owner or lessee to replenish the engine oil in their vehicle more frequently than normal. It may also result in increased emissions and reduced fuel efficiency. In some instances, when consumers brought their vehicles to a Ford dealership and complained of engine oil consumption, they have been told the issue is normal or that the owner is at fault and have been denied coverage for the repair under the new vehicle warranty.
Why are these vehicles consuming engine oil?
According to the class action lawsuit, the F-150 Coyote engines allow engine oil to pass by the piston rings and into the combustion chambers where it is burned off during the combustion cycle, thereby reducing the amount of engine oil in the engines.
In addition to the alleged issues with the piston rings, the lawsuit alleges the oil consumption issues are compounded by an inadequate positive crankshaft ventilation (PCV) system.
Does Ford have a fix?
In December 2019, Ford issued a fourth technical service bulletin regarding the 2018-2019 F-150 vehicles with Coyote engines (“TSB 19-2365”). According to the lawsuit, this TSB attributed the excessive oil consumption to the possibility of high intake manifold vacuum during deceleration fuel shut off (DFSO) resulting in oil being pulled into the combustion chamber. The proposed correction under the TSB includes reprogramming of powertrain control module (“PCM”), installing a new engine oil level indicator (a/k/a “dipstick”) and changing the engine oil and oil filter.
Most notably, the revised dipstick “uses a wider 1.9 liter (2 quart) normal operating range.” According to the lawsuit, rather than adequately repair the Oil Consumption Defect, Ford simply lowered the minimum fill level on the revised dipstick to mask the oil consumption problem in the Class Vehicles. The complaint states that this change means that a dipstick reading that was once at or below the minimum fill line, previously requiring an engine replacement, and perhaps caused customers to become alarmed or concerned with excessive oil consumption, is now considered normal and within Ford’s acceptable parameters. The case claims that this change only sought to save Ford the cost of repairs and did nothing to correct the Oil Consumption Defect.
The Ford F-150 Coyote oil consumption lawsuit is captioned Lyman, et al., v. Ford Motor Company and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.