On top of its recently-announced latest huge recall in the US, now Ford's Brazilian unit is recalling 102,000 locally-made models.

Ford do Brasil is recalling its Ecosport small SUV plus hatchback and sedan versions of the Fiesta - all equipped with the 1.6-litre flexfuel engine.

According to the automaker, the tiny petrol tank used only to start the flexfuel vehicles momentarily on cold days, before automatically switching back to alcohol (or whatever is in the main tank), can split and leak, affecting cold-start reliability. Ford dealers will replace the extra tank.

The little tank is only the size of a windshield wiper fluid bottle and this so-called 'cold start system' has been a feature of alcohol-fuelled cars made in Brazil since the end of the '70s.

Ford said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by the faulty part.

The automaker launched the 1.6-litre flexfuel engine (which runs on alcohol, petrol or any mix of the two) in the Fiesta range in September 2004.

The Ecosport, a Brazilian variant of the FordEurope Fiesta-derived Fusion, equipped with flexible engine, was launched in June last year.

The Ecosport is marketed as a small SUV and was developed in Brazil on the current local Fiesta platform, also derived from the Ford Europe Fiesta.

Rogério Louro