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. JDE

    Caveat Emptor. Ford Did address this on the F150 Hair Dryer 6, it kind of seems silly they still buried the pump in the transverse mounted 6’s like this.

  2. 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!”

    1. Steve

      That is exactly what I did with mine, I now drive Jeep Grand Cherokee and couldn’t be happier. I’ll never own another Ford again which is sad because I really did like my Explorer.

      1. Robert.Walter

        So why are you even here? Wouldn’t things be more interesting over on a Jeep site?

      2. It\'s NOT THE PUMP

        A jeep, ahhh what a bummer. Three times the failure points and issues. Horrible elecrical issues, alternators that fail early and bad transmissions. You will be missing your leaky failed water pump when you can’t get the key to turn on the cherokee 😂

        That’s like out of the fire and into the frying pan.

        1. Robert.Walter

          Fire to pan would be a net improvement.

          Are you sure you don’t mean pan to fire?

      3. Fran

        You mean you drive a Fiat Peugeot.

  3. 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

  4. 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 ?

  5. 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.

  6. James B

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

  7. 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

  8. Bharat Somal

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. Steve Costner

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

  15. 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.


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