Ford Recalling Over 500,000 F-150 Pickups Over Transmission Defect


ford recalling over 500 000 f 150 pickups over transmission defect

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 552,188 F-Series trucks sold in the United States over a transmission issue that can force the vehicle to downshift into first gear unexpectedly. Based on documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the issue only pertains to vehicles from the 2014 model year F-150 pickups and mimics and earlier recall impacting 1.5 million trucks.

The alleged culprit is the transmission control module. A loss of signal between the transmission output shaft speed sensor and the powertrain control module is said to cause the transmission to unexpectedly downshift into first gear. This can reportedly take place regardless of vehicle speed, which could do catastrophic damage to both the engine and transmission.

While Ford estimates that only about 1 percent of the whole are likely to be affected, something like this happening at higher speeds would wreak havoc on the powertrain and potentially result in a loss of control. At a minimum it would be incredibly jarring for anyone inside the vehicle.

The manufacturer has said that it has “identified various causal factors of an intermittent OSS signal in this population of vehicles, including contamination, power short to ground, connector corrosion, connector pin swaging, and incorrect outputs from the OSS sensor.”

Drivers of the affected pickups may be wholly unaware of there being a problem. However, in some instances, they may notice a warning light come on as the vehicle attempts to shift itself into first gear. Vehicles that are suffering may recover the OSS signal on their own while driving and others will require the driver to stop the vehicle and restart it. Either way, we’d strongly recommend against driving the truck at anything other than low speeds to help mitigate risk.

ford recalling over 500 000 f 150 pickups over transmission defect

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the matter in March, and seems to believe this is tied to an earlier recall that impacted a much larger recall covering F-Series pickups.

Documents filed with the NHTSA on Tuesday, show Ford reporting 396 warranty and field reports. There have also been over a fair number of customer complaints about the problem for the relevant model, covering just under 500 trucks. A few complaints have allegedly resulted in crashes after claims that the rear wheels suddenly locked up.

Ford has said it is working with the NHTSA on the matter and plans on notifying customers in July. Sadly, it looks like repairs won’t be happening until the fall with dealers updating the powertrain control software at no cost. However, if the issue stems from physical shorts and corroded connections, a simple software flash doesn’t really seem sufficient.

Concerned owners can utilize Ford’s customer service line at (866) 436-7332. Ford’s number for the recall is 24S37. The NHTSA is likewise an option, with drivers able to call (888) 327-4236 or use the recall website. Just be sure to have your VIN handy.

[Images: Ford]

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