Ford Motor Co. is recalling approximately 550,000 of its popular full-size F-150 pickups due to a potential problem with the wiper motor on the vehicles.
The issue may cause the wipers to stop working. According to the automaker, the motor’s circuit boards can be damaged by high transient voltage spikes and poor quality wiper motor electrical terminals. If they fail, then in the event of inclement weather — or even simple rain — the driver’s visibility may be affected.
Poor visibility increases the risk of a crash, although the automaker said it is unaware of any reports of accidents or injuries due to the problem. Ford said plans to begin notifying customers by mail Jan. 3. Dealers will make the repair at no cost to the owner.
The problem affects 453,650 trucks in the U.S. and 103,076 in Canada. It’s an expansion of an earlier recall from March, when the automaker recalled about 157,000 2021 pickups. The new, larger recall affects F-150s built between Jan. 8, 2020 and March 22, 2021.
However, there are trucks built at the Dearborn Truck Plant from May 3 to Sept. 10, 2021 that aren’t part of the action as they use a different style wiper motor. The company was forced to use a different motor due to the ongoing chip shortage.
An ongoing problem
The automaker’s issued the highest number of recalls this year, reports the Detroit Free Press, citing U.S. Department of Transportation data, adding the company’s issued 63 recalls affecting nearly 8.1 million vehicles.
Ford CEO Jim Farley’s banged the drum for much of the year about improving quality at the automaker, especially as it begins to produce more and more electric vehicles — especially the well-received F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup.
With the Lightning serving as the real halo product for Ford’s electrification program, the priority is making sure “Quality is job one,” said Darren Palmer, vice president of electric vehicle programs for Ford Model e, repeating the tagline Ford long used for its advertising.
“They can’t afford to mess it up,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal auto analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “If they had multiple major recalls it would definitely hurt the reputation (of the Lightning) which is going to be facing a lot of competition in the next 12 to 18 months.”