Ford Motor Co. has issued a recall of close to 1.3 million Focus models in the US due to an issue with the canister purge valve that may trigger engine stalls, the company announced on Thursday.

The defective valve, according to Ford, may cause inaccurate fuel levels that might stall the engine, increasing the risks of an unprecedented crash.

“Affected vehicles are equipped with a canister purge valve that may become stuck in an open position,” the statement said. “If this occurs, an excessive vacuum in the fuel system could cause deformation of the vehicle’s plastic fuel tank. As a result, the customer could observe a malfunction indicator light or a fuel gauge with fluctuating or inaccurate fuel levels.”

Models mentioned in the recall include 2012-18 Focus models that carry a 2.0-litre GDI and 2.0-litre GTDI engines. Apart from the 1.3 million in the US, the company has also recalled over 136,272 models in Canada and 44,521 models in Mexico.

The chronology reports stated that the NHTSA had contacted the automaker about complaints regarding “loss of motive power” in 2012-14 Focus models. “Ongoing discussions with the Agency occurred on August 28 and September 19, including an overview of the Focus fuel system operation and reviews of Ford’s data,” the report said.

The reports also stated that Ford’s Field Review Committee had reviewed the issue about a week ago and had allowed a field action. No accidents or deaths have been reported due to the defect. However, the company urges Focus owners to maintain “at least half a tank” of fuel until the recall is complete, the statement said.