Ford Motor Co. issued its largest recall in China in four years after the nation's quality regulator found a fuel leak risk in its Focus sedan.
Changan Ford, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company's joint venture in China, will call back 191,770 Focus sedans that were built as far back as 2009, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, or AQSIQ, said in a statement on its website. Ford will replace the necessary parts to eliminate safety hazards, according to the statement.
The automaker issued the recall after the regulator looked into consumer complaints and concluded that refueling hoses could crack and cause fuel leakage in extreme cases, and lead to fires. AQSIQ may order the manufacturer to widen the recall if it finds more vehicles with similar problems, according to the statement.
Changan Ford launched a customer satisfaction program with its dealers in China covering 161,170 Focus vehicles in January 2012 for the same issue, Ford China spokeswoman Claire Li said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News.
"We are now extending this to being a safety recall in order to ensure we cover off all vehicles and alleviate any potential customer concern relating to this issue," Li said.
In May 2010, Ford recalled 236,643 Focus cars to fix ignition problems. The carmaker also recalled 25,802 imported Edge sport utility vehicles in China in July, after calling back 80,857 China-produced Kuga SUVs last December.
The Focus is the company's best-selling model in the Asian nation, topping the sedan category nationwide in the first seven months of this year, according to the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Ford's wholesales deliveries in August increased 9 percent in China, while sales in the nation in the first eight months of the year increased 30 percent to 717,537 vehicles, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.