Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R: Sales Halted Owing To Oil-Cooler Defect

Oct 27, 2016 08:50 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

Ford has issued a recall of its Shelby Mustang GT350 and GT350R models over a possible fire hazard. No incidents of fire or anything even remotely close to it has ever been reported, though.

The issue, however, lies in the engine oil cooler line that Ford discovered hasn't been crimped properly. This put them at risk of separating, thereby leading to oil leaks. A natural fallout of such a scenario is the engine being deprived of oil, leading to it getting heated up.

According to Ford, it is about 8000 Shelby Mustang GT350 and GT350R vehicles that would be affected. Specifically, it is those models produced between Feb. 24, 2015, and Aug. 30, 2016, that comes under the purview of the recall.

Meanwhile, an independent survey carried out by Mustang enthusiasts based on cross-referencing of VINs and production dates have found not all Mustangs are susceptible to the oil leak, according to Car & Driver. However, most of the Mustangs produced during the period have been found to be prone to the leakage issue.

Also, as is applicable as per federal regulations, Food has issued a stop-sale notice applicable to all GT360 and GT350R models with immediate effect. This applies to even test drives or demonstrations as well. Even those vehicles that haven't exited the dealer shop floor are barred from being handed over to the customers till they have been attended to.

The development comes at a time when Ford has really been looking to achieve higher sales of Mustang. It has only been in September that the Chevy Camaro had managed to outsell the Mustang even though that has been by a small margin, something that has happened for the first time in two years.

There are also rumors doing the rounds that Ford might be forced to scale back the launch of the Focus RS500 'hot' hatchback lest it weaned away Mustang buyers. According to AutoBlog, the almost 400 hp Focus RS500 ran the risk of posing as a viable alternative to the Mustang with similar performance credentials while operating at almost the same price point as well.

Ford hasn't stated when sales will resume again. The actual repairs are not expected to begin before January 2017 and could stretch well into March before all affected Mustang vehicles have been attended to.

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