Ford and Stellantis Recall Bigger Vehicles for Smaller Problems


2021 Ford F-150

Ford and Stellantis are issuing recalls on some of their biggest models — figuratively and literally — this week. But the issues are quite a bit less dire than the repeat fire risks you’ve probably grown accustomed to. These defects will still allow customers to park their vehicle indoors without fear of awakening to a raging inferno emanating from the garage. Owners could probably even get away without having their cars fixed by the manufacturer until the relevant parts actually started breaking. Though why anybody would turn down free repairs on any component that didn’t pass muster is beyond me.

Impacted vehicles include 2021-22 model year Dodge Durango SUVs, 2019-22 MY Ram 2500 pickups, and 2019-22 MY Ram 3500 Chassis Cab trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) under 10,000 pounds, all with bunk electronic stability control (ESC) warning lights. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 375,000 vehicles should be affected. Meanwhile, Ford is only looking at 175,000 units of the 2021 F-150 pickup with bum wiper motors. 

The Stellantis vehicles are looking at little more than a compliance violation. After reading the report, it looks as though the ESC indicator light used to tell drivers when the system is off isn’t functioning properly. While the NHTSA and Stellantis both indicated that the hardware should be fine, a software issue within the vehicles’ ABS control modules runs the risk of the warning light remaining dormant should mechanical problems arise later.

Recall notices will be issued in April, though concerned owners can contact Stellantis at 800-853-1403 or use their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to look up its status on the NHTSA website in advance. Alternatively, the regulator’s recall code (22V140) can be used. Impacted customers will be directed to take their vehicle in for servicing, where technicians will update the relevant software.

Ford’s issue poses a bit more risk upfront, particularly if wiper motors happen to go out in the midst of inclement weather. The automaker has already informed the NHTSA that it is aware of at least 758 warranty claims for wiper motor failures but had not received any reports of crashes. Apparently, the motors are suffering from numerous manufacturing defects and it’s negatively impacting their longevity.

Obviously, this poses a safety risk for anybody driving through precipitation. We’d recommend leaning on another vehicle whenever there’s a risk of inclement weather — assuming you have that luxury — and pulling off to wait out the storm should your F-Series’ wipers stop working.

Blue Oval’s recall has been similarly plotted for April, with owners once again having the ability to contact the manufacturer in advance. Ford can be reached at 866-436-7332 if customers don’t want to go through the NHTSA using their VIN or the campaign recall code (22V142). Upon servicing, trucks will have the old wiper motors replaced with units manufactured after the defects were ironed out by the supplier.

[Images: Ford; Stellantis]

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