The issue detailed in the letter is claimed to be slipping the clutch may overheat the clutch mechanism causing the PRESSURE plate to fracture (not the friction disc).
The DVSA website has this the other way round, stating a fractured pressure plate causes the slipping. This is logical as the incorrect pressure may be applied depending where the fracture is - the main plate or one of the springs. I have emailed them to ask for clarification. http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/apps/recalls/searches/expand.asp?uniqueID=4E44140329ABAC698025825600386067&freeText=Blank&tx=0.869682
It is of interest the way this is treated differently in the USA. ( I do not believe the model of vehicle matters as this is a drivetrain issue. The Focus in the USA does not have a 1.6L option therefor only lists for 1.0L. The USA Fusion appears to be our Mondeo) In the USA a 1.6L engine and B6 transmission receives a replacement clutch - https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCMN-18V169-6244.pdf )
According to DVSA the 1.6 drivetrain is being treated differently here in the UK -
1.6l with Engine Stop Start - Software Update
1.6l without Engine Stop Start - Alternative Clutch
My local dealer could not clarify anything asked about this recall, confusing things even more when taken alongside the DVSA information.
When I contacted Ford UK Customer services to ask about the engine derate, warning light and drive cycle strategy detailed in the DVSA bulletin, they referred me back to the dealer.
ZF Sachs (The OE Supplier of the clutch) referred me back to the dealer.
I would like to know how Ford can guarantee without physical inspection of the pressure plate, that it is not already fractured, just not to the point of catastrophic failure at this time.
It would be usual for a clutch that has been slipped to the point of catastrophic failure to be deemed driver abuse and for the customer to foot the bill. Why are Ford so concerned about 2 drivetrains in particular?
The update takes 20mins according to that NHTSA file. A modest cost to Ford of a few million @ £90ph labour rate - to restrict a problem with a known substandard part turning into a catastrophic safety problem that could in extreme cases result in death (as could any mechanical problem left unattended, worn brakes, suspension etc). Much cheaper than replacing the substandard part which I recon would run into 10's of millions ££ for the 120K+ vehicles worldwide this affects. ( I have read onlinewith a pinch of salt that the clutch has been modified in 2016 and the pressure plate material changed when production was moved from the UK to Europe - I cannot find verification of that on an official site like DVSA)
Cheaper for them to install software to say your clutch is worn, take it to the dealers and they'll change it for you for £500+ as its normal wear and tear (or is that premature wear and tear???), or as they did with the powershift issue, use the opportunity to upgrade you into a newer car, either way - customer pays.