Ford Issues Recall for ‘Forced Neutral Condition’


ford issues recall for forced neutral condition

An oddball situation has prompted the Blue Oval to recall a number of its hybrid vehicles, lest the machines suddenly pop themselves into neutral whilst at speed.

This writer will cop to numerous hoopties with a manual transmission from years past which would rudely and unexpectedly take themselves out of gear (I had one, too! — Ed.), though this apparent issue is nothing so analog. According to documents filed with the  NHTSA, certain hybrid-equipped models of the 2022-2024cFord Maverick and 2020-2022 Escape, along with the 2021-2022 Lincoln Corsair, may suddenly find themselves in a so-called ‘forced neutral condition’ following a software update.

The automakers says affected vehicles received a software update that can cause the vehicle to pop into neutral while driving. Keep in mind that these machines have electronic shifters of varying design – a dial in the Fords, buttons in the Lincoln – so this is some sort of rogue line of code buried in that software update that’s causing the problem. As the vehicle coasts to a stop, the thing will place itself in Park which is considerate since doing so at 60 mph would cause unwanted figure eights on our nations’ highways. If the driver chooses to shift back to Drive in an attempt to depart, the vehicle will enter limp mode which provides limited torque at low speeds up to 30mph.

Thanks to record keeping of which machines received these software updates, Ford can say that 81 Corsairs are affected, 277 Escapes are affected, and 8,369 Mavericks are affected by this recall. While steering and brakes are said to be unaffected during this confab, the loss of motive power could certainly lead to an incident in certain conditions. Ford says it is not aware of any incidents or injury related to this recall.

Dealers were notified of the problem a couple of days ago. Mailings to affected owners are scheduled to begin next week with instructions to hit up a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the vehicle software updated to the latest version.

[Image: Ford]

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