Ford Authority

New Ford Water Pump Class Action Lawsuit Filed In New York

Ford has faced its fair share of water pump woes over the past few years, starting in 2019 when a class-action lawsuit was filed over defective units used on certain Duratec V6 engines. Just a few months later, that lawsuit was dismissed by a judge, but this past January, a similar class-action lawsuit was certified in Canada, and now, a new Ford water pump class-action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, according to Car Complaints.

This new Ford water pump lawsuit – Mark Militello v. Ford Motor Company – also pertains to vehicles equipped with various Duratec V6 engines, and alleges that FoMoCo has been aware of this problem for a decade, yet hasn’t issued a recall or attempted to help customers repair their faulty parts or compensate them for repairs. The problem reportedly stems from premature failure of the internal chain-driven water pump, which should last 150,000 miles but tends to stop working long before that in many cases.

According to the lawsuit, defective, unreinforced bearing oil seals used in the water pump allow coolant to leak across the mechanical seals and penetrate the bearing seals, which contaminates and washes out the bearing lubricant. Since the water pump is in line with the crankshaft and located over the main body of the engine, it reportedly allows coolant to leak from the water pump into the oil pan. Making matters worse, mixed coolant and oil can lead to engine failure, too.

This particular class-action lawsuit pertains to a variety of FoMoCo models built between 2007-2020, including the Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, Ford Flex, Ford Fusion, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKT, Lincoln MKZ, and Lincoln MKX. It was originally filed by the owner of a 2016 Ford Explorer, whose water pump failed with just over 61k miles on the odometer due to a coolant leak, reportedly forcing them to spend $2,000 for a new unit due to labor costs associated with the replacement, as it’s located behind the timing cover and is difficult to access.

We’ll have more on this and all Ford-related lawsuits soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford lawsuit news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Arcee

    Bad design? Yes. Worthy of a lawsuit? No. All automakers have introduced bad designs throughout the years. There is always the chance with *any* vehicle that something could go wrong.
    The 2016 Explorer had a 5yr/60K mile powertrain warranty. Shame on Ford for not performing a “good will” repair of this owner’s car allegedly only 1,000 miles outside of warranty. That is the bigger issue here. If that were to happen to me, on a vehicle that was maintained to the letter according to the manual, then I would get it fixed and immediately trade it and never own another FoMoCo brand vehicle.

    Customer Acquisition Cost in the auto industry for a new vehicle is approximately $650…that’s how much it costs the average automaker to get a customer for a new vehicle purchase. Ford “paid” $650 to get this customer. Then they potentially lost them for being unwilling to cover a $2,000 repair. I guess they would rather use that $2,000 to acquire 3 new customers and let that one they already had go? Imagine the word of mouth marketing this owner would have given Ford had they simply fixed it. “I had an issue with my Explorer just after the warranty ended, but Ford covered it as a good will gesture! Ford and the dealer are great! I would totally buy another Ford!”

  2. Janice

    2015 Ford Edge Titanium just came out of the shop from a water pump replacement 3800 dollars later. I was told there were 3 model of this edge I had the one that cost the most to repair because of the placement of the water pump. Should be a recall on this model .

    1. Robert.Walter

      Unfortunately unless you can demonstrate to NHTSA how a defect makes a vehicle unsafe, or violates a FMVSS regulation etc., that defect is not recallable, it is a warranty or goodwill claim.

    2. It\'s NOT THE PUMP

      Just a guess, but you probably didnt change your coolant ever or not often at all.

      Put in the newest ford coolant color for your vehicle and test for corrosion protection with strips for POAT style coolants

    3. Reginald Trawick

      I have a 2015 explorer and it cost 3400.00 dollars to replace the water pump at the dealership. I drove the car one day and the engine failed.

  3. It\'s NOT THE PUMP

    The cause of the problem is NOT the water pump. I repeat. NOT THE WATER PUMP.

    The seals fail due to corrosion, the corrosion happens due to the coolant failing to prevent it.
    The COOLANT is the problem.

    Ford used junk coolant and gave it unrealistic change intervals, no one checks their coolant for corrosion protection (only cooling performance) so when it falls to dangerous levels of protection it still COOLS the engine so goes un-noticed. Eats up the seals from pump side and also eats up the gasket from pump. Eventually one or other will fail

    They sell strips for testing these modern coolants POAT ect. Get the correct ones, check your corrosion protection. I do every oil change. Most importantly upgrade to newest coolant color that offers much better protection from the corrosion protection dropping off.

    1. Ronarb

      I am about to service my 2017 MKT 3.5 GTDT V6 engine with 85K with a coolant change at a Lincoln dealer. What specific brand of anti-freeze / coolant should I be using ? I would assume that Mopar products would be best. Recommendations anyone ?

  4. Francis Scirrotto

    I have a 2011 mix 195000 no problems at all its a one owner since new. I would buy a new one in a minute.

  5. James B

    Me and my wife owns 2 180000 plus on both. Change coolant once a year same for the transmission filter NO PROBLEMS .

  6. Me

    Mechanic here with 50 years experience. Dumb ass design of water pump behind timing cover. The engineers that designed are dumb asses. Management that approved the design are even bigger dumb asses. Poor mechanic’s that have to fix that garbage. Poor consumers that have to pay for their mistakes

    1. Larry Manaro

      as a mechanic myself ,, i agree totally for making the public pay for such a stupidity design, also having to work on one of these is not the greatest to work on,,, i believe the engineers should be made to work on these for a 40 hr work week, and see if they dont change their minds on where to put the water pump and the oil pump that are in the same place, and lets see if they dont change their tune,,,,,,

  7. Bharat Somal

    My ford 2017 Explorer faced same issue two weeks back at 63K miles and is now with Dealer. What a pain?

  8. Ronald Andrus

    My 2011 Ford Flex only has 107,000 miles on it and it’s sitting in my driveway and not being driven because my water pump failed… My oil pan has coolant in it and it’s like a white pasty sticky substance… Just bought the car from the original owner in March 2022.. waiting to get enough $$$ to get it fixed… Going to cost around $2000.00 -$2500.00 to fix… Normal cars water pumps are on the outside and only about $400.00…. poor manufacturing

  9. Eugene Fischer

    My water pump failed at 107,00 miles, and don’t get me wrong we love ar Ford Flex ,but now it sits in the barn with coolant in the oil and the auto mechanic told me 3200.00 to fix this because it’s inside the motor and is ran by the timing chain. What a bull$$$ design

  10. philip tilley

    I love the FLEX and the MKT, have you got to drop the engine to do a proper job, wouldn’t be so bad if it was inline, what a stupid design.

  11. grumpyunk

    Designed in along with the ‘questionable’ decision to place the coolant pump internally was a ‘drip channel’ that would route leaking coolant from a failing seal externally to the side of the block. Drivers who ignored the coolant leak likely ended up with coolant in the crankcase along with the goo it formed, leading to failed bearings.
    I do not know details beyond that, but as an owner that had coolant disappearing or on the pavement where I parked, I would have been concerned.
    The cost of pump replacement is very prohibitive, and will likely lead to early(early to me) consignment of the vehicles to the scrapyard. Very similar to the Escort cylinder head failures of the early 1980’s. That’s too bad, as both the Flex and the Edge are nice vehicles.
    Ford stiffing their customers will not do them any favors in the marketplace. OTOH, I do not know of any brand that stands out that has better products. (or better customer support when failures are so close to warranty expiration).

  12. Steve Costner

    I had this happen to my 2011 Explorer with only 101k miles. There was outside leakage apparent before the engine was ruined. I had to have a re-manufactured motor installed at a cost of $7k. I have been a loyal Ford owner since buying my first Ford – a 1955 Ford in 1963. My father was the local Ford dealer service manager for many years and Ford products paid for my upbringing so to speak. This Explorer will be my last Ford product. The faulty design of this water pump should never have happened and Ford should have owned up to this problem.

  13. Steve Costner

    CORRECTION: There was NO apparent outside leakage before the engine was ruined.

  14. Dallas

    Same issue. No external evidence of a coolant leak. Wife’s 2011 Explorer died and had to replace the engine at 146k. Stupid design and I can’t find a solution to prevent it from happening again short of replacing the water pump every 50,000 miles to be safe.

  15. Eric White

    I have a 2008 Ford edge one day it was running fine the next day there was antifreeze in my oil now I have to replace the engine. I also have a 2018 Ford flex antifreeze is leaking I’m thinking due to the water pump being bad. This is two Fords that have the same problem’s. Ford needs to be held accountable for these issues I can’t afford a new engine

  16. J.Derocher

    I love my 2005 Ford Explorer with a 4.0 V6..its easy to fix because all the vital components are attached to the
    ” outside ” of the engine .

    I was going to upgrade to a 2013-2016 Explorer but forget it now ! Putting the waterpump on the inside of the engine after 2006 is the most asinine idea Ford engineers have ever come up with.
    That’s about as bad as the chevy Z- 34 engine with rubber timing belts that blew up the engine when they snapped !
    I’ll be shopping for a 2006 Ford Explorer or older , that way, I’ll still be able to replace the water pump myself when,
    ( not if ) it goes out for about $ 300 tops.

  17. 1776Revolution

    Ford has always found some way to not pay for mistakes. A chain driven water pump. Typical road apple mentality. whether is is 50k miles or even 180k miles, it shouldn’t be happening. Yet, no one with balls holds people accountable

  18. Shane

    I have a 2012 Lincoln mkz with 57,000 miles bought as a certified Lincoln from a Lincoln dealer. Four days after paying it off it overheated, always been serviced at Lincoln dealership now they are telling me almost $4,000 to fix, I am very unhappy. At 37,000 miles the abs unit went out and I was told that wasn’t covered under the certification I wil never buy ford junk ever again.

  19. Arnold Parker

    I’ve owned Fords all my life my first was 1946 Ford Coupe, but I can never think of a time when Ford Engineers made such an error, in design? We now have a 2016 Ford Taurus V6 Eng. now Have over 70,000 miles. My service man tells me that serviced on a regular bases with good oil and good coolant he hasn’t had any problems. So maybe I’m just lucky ?

  20. Ron

    This is the Armageddon of Ford Authority. Read a comic book.

  21. Kegan Ross Slaydon

    After reading all of these comments and opinions, one can only deduce that it was a planned manufacturing defect. ” The straw to break the camel’s back”. The issue always showing up just after the warranty is out of date.
    Last time I checked, a vehicle that can throw it’s timing just due to a water pump failure is a hazard, especially when it happens on the highway at 70mph.

    1. Reginald Trawick

      After the dealership replaced the water pump on my 2015 explorer I drove it one day and I was going 20 miles per hour when the engine failed and I had to have it towed back to the dealership.. I’ll never buy another car with this water pump design ever again because I paid 3400.00 dollars for the water pump replacement.

  22. Mike

    2016 Ford Explorer 71,000 miles , wasn’t going to pay $3,000 for a water pump and rent a car for a month. Traded it in for a Honda Accord Sport 2022. Ford lost another customer forever!

  23. Denny

    2010 ford edge owner here, just wasted a year and a half and three mechanics giving me different oil leak repair need. First said severe oil pan oil leak. Second mechanic used a little mirror and said it looked like a bad oil pressure sensor which I paid $125 to replace, he had cleaned all the oil up real good too. A few months later I couldn’t deny fresh oil in my driveway. Took it back and shop said must be a bad pressure sensor, said sensor was under warranty, no charge for that but labor was not warranted, rate went up too. Another $140 and had new sensor in plus oil cleaned off engine. Maybe a week later oil leak was back. Took it in and they said it looked like the timing chain cover gasket was leaking and quoted about $1300 labor plus parts. Shop called as they were opening it up was called with possibly good news. They said it looked like the oil filter adapter gasket was leaking. They cleaned it all up real good and went to lunch before taking it off. Came back from lunch and saw a trail of oil coming from the water pump so back to square one. Found the leak coming out of water pump and replaced. Had them put new timing chain on since they had to remove anyway just in case. Buttoned everything back up and fingers crossed. Final cost was $1990 minus the $140 second oil pressure sensor replacement. $1850 to get my car back. Come on ford, step up and do the right thing.

  24. Kage McGuire

    My 2018 Ford Explorer has 47k miles on it and is now at 5 Star Ford due to the AC blowing a fuse. They said it is because the water pump leaked onto the AC compressor and that has ruined the Compressor and Clutch and that repair is $1,800.00 not including replacing the Water Pump. I have never heard of any fluid leak burning up a compressor but can understand the clutch.


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