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Ford Recalling 1.48M F-150 Pickups Due to Transmission Issue

Sometimes the transmission will downshift to first gear unexpectedly.

by on Feb.13, 2019

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 trucks from model years 2011–13 due to a transmission downshift problem.

Ford Motor Co is recalling 1.48 million F-150 pickup trucks because of a transmission issue that could, in certain circumstances, lead to a crash.

The company said that select 2011–13 model year trucks with six-speed automatic transmissions could downshift into first gear without warning. This downshift could cause the axle to lock up, causing the truck to skid and the driver to lose control.

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As of now, there have been five accidents and one injury – whiplash – reported tied to the problem. The recall covers 1.26 million trucks in the U.S. The rest are in Canada. Affected 2011-13 F-150 vehicles were built at Dearborn Assembly Plant, April 28, 2010 to Oct. 28, 2013, and Kansas City Assembly Plant, May 18, 2010 to Nov. 18, 2013.

When owners bring their vehicles to dealers, the dealer will update the powertrain control software at no cost. The company will start notifying owners next month.

(Ford sued by three MIT profs about EcoBoost technology. Click Here for the story.)

The recall comes as recent J.D. Power study points out that transmission problems are one of the top three complaints about new vehicles. The Vehicle Dependability Study released earlier this week noted that transmission shifts were a big problem with customers.

In Ford’s case, this transmission issue is something it has been trying to wrap its arms around for a while now. In March 2016, Ford recalled 153,000 U.S. 2011-2012 Ford F-150, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles for a transmission downshift problem.

(Click Here for details about the new Ford Harley-Davidson F-150.)

Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley told Reuters that the root cause was different in that instance. The new recall is for different issue. However, that didn’t prevent the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from opening an investigation into the problem.

In December 2017, NHTSA began looking into whether that recall should be expanded by nearly 1.4 million 2011-2013 vehicles after 123 complaints and two crashes but no reported injuries.

(To see more about Ford readying Ranger plant for production increase, Click Here.)

The agency told Reuters an unexpected downshift “can cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly and without warning. This can also cause the rear tires to skid or lock up, increasing the risk of a crash.” The investigation is pending.

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