Ford has offered to fix Focus RSs that have suffered engine problems for free. As we reported last month, a number of early third-generation Ford Focus RSs have been suffering from an engine issue that means they consume coolant fluid during cold running, leading to white smoke coming from the exhaust thanks to a problem with the seals within the engine.

'Owners of 2016-17 Focus RS vehicles are being offered a free inspection and repair, regardless of warranty or mileage status, for concerns of white exhaust smoke and/or coolant consumption stemming from an issue with cylinder head gaskets,' Ford said in a statement.

'Ford dealers will test the cooling system, replace the cylinder head gasket and may replace the cylinder head, as required, at no cost to the customer.'

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2017 Ford Focus RS

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While the recall has been issued, Ford hasn't set an official deadline for owners to turn in their cars for repairs. They had already replaced a number of engines hit by the problem before the recall was issued – a problem that they still haven't given an official cause for.

Despite the entry-level model Mustang also being powered by a similar 2.3-litre engine, it is not thought to be subject to the same problems. Thanks to its higher power output, the Focus RS engine is built differently – its block and head is built using an upgraded alloy with a cast-iron lining and has a different head gasket design.

The Focus RS is a serious piece of kit. Four-wheel drive, 345bhp, 0-62 in 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of 165mph make it not just one of the fastest hatchbacks, but one of the fastest everyday cars on sale today.

Gallery: 2017 Ford Focus RS