Image: Ford

Yesterday we covered Ford’s new service advisory allowing owners of 2016 and 2017 Ford Focus RSes to get new head gaskets free of charge and—in some cases—new cylinder heads as well. Now The Blue Oval has divulged how many vehicles have been affected, and it’s not exactly a small number.

The total count of the Ford Focus RSes affected by the recent Field Service Action is “about 27,000" globally according to an email I received from a Ford representative today. This represents all 2016 and 2017 Focus RS models sold throughout the world.

For the longest time, worried Focus RS owners have been trying to understand what percentage of Ford’s all-wheel drive hot hatches has been affected by the apparent head gasket problem, which manifests itself in the form of coolant loss and steam spewing from exhaust pipes.

Diehard Focus RS lovers have sprung to their car’s defense, claiming that the fraction of RSes affected is minuscule (on Reddit and on Focus RS forums, I usually see guesses that only around 3 percent of cars were affected).

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And while the actual failure rate may be low right now, Ford has agreed to replace head gaskets and maybe even cylinder heads (depending upon whether the cooling system holds pressure long enough, and if there’s coolant found in the cylinders) on 100 percent of 2016 and 2017 models—27,000 cars in total—finally giving us a true understanding of the scale of this issue.

Clearly this head gasket problem is no small concern if Ford has decided to sign off on a free fix that requires nine to 10 hours of labor, a rental car for the customer during the repair, and new parts that may include an entire cylinder head for 27,000 vehicles. There’s no way that’s going to be cheap.