Ford Focus recall: stall risk (Ford Focus hatchback pictured).

Ford is recalling 1,282,596 of its 2012 to 2018 Focus cars because a faulty part may cause them to unexpectedly stall while driving. Drivers may also be unable to restart the vehicle after a stall occurs.

If a vehicle stalls while driving, it could increase the risk of a crash. So far, Ford is unaware of any reports of crashes or injuries related to this issue.

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Faulty software may not respond as needed when a malfunctioning valve sticks open, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says. That can potentially deform the fuel tank. If that happens, owners may see a warning light illuminated on the dash, a gas gauge that's inaccurate or acting erratically, or a loss of power.

In order to prevent a stall, Ford recommends owners of affected vehicles keep their gas tanks at least half full until recall repairs are performed to prevent the vehicle from unexpectedly running out of gas, a Ford spokeswoman said in an email to Consumer Reports.

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The Details

Vehicles recalled: Certain Ford Focus vehicles with either 2.0L GDI or 2.0L GTDI engines manufactured between Aug. 1, 2010, and Feb. 2, 2018.

The problem: A component within the emissions system can malfunction, causing a vacuum within the fuel system that may deform the plastic fuel tank. Owners of affected vehicles may notice a check engine light, an “inaccurate or erratic” fuel gauge, or loss of power, NHTSA says.

The fix: Dealers will reprogram the vehicle’s software to prevent the emissions system from malfunctioning, and replace components if needed.

How to contact the manufacturer: Ford says it will notify owners of affected vehicles starting on Dec. 10, 2018. Owners may also contact Ford at 866-436-7332.

NHTSA campaign number: 18V735. Ford's own number for this recall is 18S32. 

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you enter your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and this recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.