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Ford hatches a software update to fix a fiery problem with its GT supercar

2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Ford GT is a hot car in more ways than one. It’s metaphorically hot because it’s a track-bred machine that’s as worthy of being your smartphone’s wallpaper as a Ferrari. It’s literally hot because, as a recent recall notice points out, it can catch fire. Ford is reaching out to GT owners in North America to fix the problem.

Ford explains that the problem affects about 194 cars registered in the United States and an additional 18 cars licensed in Canada. In affected cars, hydraulic fluid can leak from the valve block assembly located under the rear wing and drip onto the exhaust. That’s a minor annoyance if the car has been parked all night, but fluid dripping onto the exhaust can cause a fire if the engine is hot. Ford has already linked the problem to a fire that occurred in Munich, Germany, this past June.

The owner of the German GT destroyed by the blaze received a new car free of charge. Ford doesn’t want to replace 194 cars — keep in mind each one costs about $450,000 — so it has developed a simple way to fix the issue. Dealers will perform a software update to the fully integrated vehicle controller in order to eliminate the possibility of excessive pressure in the valve block assembly, the company explained in its recall notice. The GT can’t receive over-the-air software updates so owners will need to take the car to the nearest service center. The repair will, of course, be free of charge.

Technicians will also install a hydraulic check valve on each car. And, while they’re poking under the rear wing, they’ll take a look at the o-rings and the filter in the mechanism. The parts will be replaced if they’ve been damaged by excessive pressure.

The 194 cars covered by the recall were built between December 20, 2016, and July 31, 2018. One hundred ninety-four cars doesn’t sound like much, not when Ford sold nearly 900,000 examples of the F-Series in America in 2017, but it’s a figure that encompasses nearly every GT built since production started. That should make it easy for owners of affected cars to know who they are.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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