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NHTSA May Order Recall of Another 1.4M Ford Pickups, SUVs

Transmissions could slip into gear, cause loss of control.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Ford may see a recall of more than 1.4 million F-150s, as well as large Ford and Lincoln SUVs, plus the Ford Mustang.

Federal investigators are taking a close look at the automatic transmissions used in older Ford F-150s and two SUV models and could order the recall of more than 1.4 million of the vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is following up on an earlier recall involving about 153,000 Ford products because their transmissions could inadvertently downshift into first gear, causing a driver to lose control.

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Transmission problems have become an increasingly serious issue in the auto industry, especially with the advent of electronic gearboxes that don’t necessarily follow the same shift patterns as classic, mechanical shifters.

Ford initially ordered the recall of 184,000 vehicles in April 2016 due to the transmission problem. The initial service action involved F-150 pickups, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs and Ford Mustangs from the 2011 and 2012 model-years.

At the time, the problem was blamed on the output-speed sensors used on the six-speed 6R80 automatic transmissions. A faulty connection could cause a circuit board to downshift into first, leading the rear tires to skid or lock up. Ford said it knew of three accidents caused by the problem, though there were no reports of injuries.

The automaker made repairs to the transmission’s lead frame, the metal connectors joined to the circuit board. It also extended the warranty on the system to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Actor Anton Yelchin was best known for his role as a young Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot.

But NHTSA now is investigating whether Ford failed to cover all the vehicles subject to that transmission failure. It is specifically focusing on 2011-2013 model-year F-150s, Navigators and Expeditions.

(Ford recalls 202K F-150 pickups, Explorers. To find out more, Click Here.)

The agency says it has continued receiving complaints from owners whose vehicles were not covered by the 2016 recall, while others who had the repaired made report the problem has continued.

Ford made the original repairs at no charge. It says it is cooperating with NHTSA on the latest investigation.

The company also recalled a number of Ford and Lincoln models last July due to problems with its 6F35 automatic transmission.

(Click Here for more about Ford recalling 52K F-250s for rollaway problems.)

Other manufacturers who ordered transmission recalls during the last several years include Mitsubishi, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

FCA faced a high-profile investigation underscored by the June 2016 death of Anton Yelchin, a lead actor in the latest reboot of the Star Trek movie series. He was killed when his Jeep inadvertently rolled into him, crushing Yelchin against a gate at his California home.

The problem was blamed on the unusual shift pattern used by FCA’s nine-speed automatic transmission which could occasionally lead owners to place the vehicle into the wrong gear.

(To see more about NHTSA targeting 1M FCA vehicles with shifter rollaway risk, Click Here.)

Motorists have filed numerous complaints about other non-traditional electronic shifters used by a variety of manufacturers in recent years.

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