Ford has said it will offer refunds to customers whose EcoBoost engines have failed.
The car maker has faced claims from hundreds of customers that the petrol engines failed prematurely, leaving them thousands of pounds out of pocket.
It previously acknowledged that there had been a problem with a coolant hose on 1.0-litre models which could fail at high temperatures, potentially causing the engine to overheat, seize or even catch fire.
However, it had been accused of trying to minimise its contribution to fixing damaged engines, the bill for which can run into several thousands of pounds.
Now, following a BBC investigation, it has said that it will cover the cost of repairs and will refund customers who have already paid for the work to be carried out.
In a statement, the manufacturer said safety was its key priority.
“Ford has already made substantial contributions towards the cost of 1.0-litre repairs, but ongoing discussions with customers show that Ford needs to go further to ensure reasonable repair costs are covered,” it said.
“With any future cases, subject to being assessed and linked to potential 1.0-litre engine overheating, we will contribute 100 per cent of the cost of repair at a Ford dealer.
“Furthermore, we will re-examine previous cases to ensure that this policy of a 100 per cent contribution to the repair cost is applied consistently.”
An estimated one million 1.0-litre EcoBoost engines were built between 2011 and 2017. It is fitted to several of Ford’s best-selling cars, including the Fiesta, Focus, Kuga, S-Max and C-Max.
Earlier this year law firm Roscoe Reid said it was considering a group legal action against Ford, which it estimated could be worth £1 billion.
Responding to Ford’s announcement, Darren Smith, from Roscoe Reid, said the offer was “inadequate.
He said: “We at Roscoe Reid do not believe that Ford’s actions are either something new nor do they really address the scale of the problem. There are more than 3,000 members of the EcoBoom Facebook group with over 1,250 vehicle registrations, many of them for post-2013 vehicles to which Ford’s offer does not apply.
“The offer to pay 100 per cent of the repair costs does not seem to take into account the cost to a victim for inconvenience while their car is off the road, concerns about using the car even if it has been repaired, or that in some cases, customers have lost the entire value of the vehicle because they were unable to pay towards the costs of the repairs Ford refused to fund. In other cases, customers have had to sell their car at a loss when repayment of motor finance costs is taken into account.
“Many of these customers should also be compensated for the stress and inconvenience caused due to Ford’s intransigence in the face of hundreds of driver complaints. We have heard many comments since Ford made this offer and fully agree and understand why people with these cars are still so angry about the attitude and poor customer care they have shown in this matter.”
Ford also said it had issued a voluntary safety recall on the 1.6-litre version of the EcoBoost engine, used in the Focus, Kuga, C-MAX, Fiesta ST and Transit Connect, which has also see reports of overheating and fire. It issued a similar recall in the USA in 2014.