Ford recalls 136,272 Focus cars in Canada for fuel valve problem

Ford is recalling nearly 1.5 million Focus compact cars in North America because a fuel system problem can cause the engines to stall without warning.

Company advises drivers of 2012 to 2018 Focus sedans and hatchbacks to keep tank at least half full

Ford is recalling 1.5 million Focus vehicles in North America for a problem with the fuel valve that can lead to stalling. (Reed Saxon/ Associated Press)

Ford is recalling nearly 1.5 million Focus compact cars in North America because a fuel system problem can cause the engines to stall without warning.

The recall covers cars from the 2012 through 2018 model years with two-litre, four-cylinder engines. There were 1,282,596 vehicles affected in the United States, 136,272 in Canada and 44,521 in Mexico. 

Ford says a valve in the fuel system can stick in the open position, causing too much vacuum, and an engine control computer may not detect the problem. Excessive vacuum can cause the gas tank to deform, as well as other problems.

The recall came after the U.S. government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration presented owner complaints to Ford. About 1.3 million of the recalled vehicles are in the U.S.

Dealers will reprogram the computer with new software that will detect a stuck valve, which the company says will take care of the problem in most cases. They'll also inspect the valve, a carbon canister and gas tank, and replace them if needed.

Ford said owners should keep the gas tank at least half full until repairs are made.

The company said it's not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem.

The recall is expected to begin on Dec. 10.