On Monday, Ford Motor Co. notified dealers that it would be issuing a stop-sale notice for the all-electric “Mustang” Mach-E. The note made mention that the high-voltage contacts on the battery could overheat and cause malfunctions — potentially causing the vehicle to lose power while in operation or even fail to start.
Considering how absolutely wicked battery fires can become, this was likely a prudent move on the part of Ford. Over the last several years, EVs have been getting some negative attention for fires related to charging or battery failures of late and Blue Oval is likely aware that any mishaps with the Mach-E will be amplified as a result. Nipping this in the bud immediately is wise. However, the resulting recall has defaulted to the industry standard solution of issuing a software update on the affected models.
While tweaking the software can help mitigate problems, manufacturers have started leaning on the strategy as a way to buy time until a more comprehensive hardware fix is developed. This may also be the situation with Ford, as it doesn’t even want dealers to demonstrate the Mach-E to potential customers and used capitalized letters to make that point. Transcripts of the dealer notice shared on the relevant Mach-E forums have likewise mentioned that parts pertaining to the subsequent recall were unavailable. However, the phrasing used by the automaker makes the assumed lack of any parts interchangeable with the planned software update a corporate spokesperson said should be available next month.
In the affected vehicles, it is possible that the high voltage battery main contactors may overheat, which can result in an open contactor or welding condition. Should the contactors weld closed while driving, a powertrain malfunction warning light will be illuminated on the next drive cycle, along with a no start condition.
If the contactors open while driving, a powertrain malfunction warning light will be illuminated, the vehicle will display Stop Safely Now in the instrument panel cluster, and the vehicle will experience an immediate loss of motive power. The vehicle will coast to a stop, and all 12V systems including power brakes and steering will remain functional.
From here, the notice goes on to remind dealers that the problems pertain to new stock vehicles as well and makes another mention that the “software and/or parts ordering information” likely won’t be made available until the third quarter of 2022.
At present, the recall pertains only to Mach-E models assembled between May 27th, 2020, and May 24th, 2022, at the Ford plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico. Vehicles produced in Chongqing, China, have not been made subject to any formal recalls. But that still leaves 48,924 units sold on our market with problems needing to be addressed.
There don’t appear to be any open investigations from the NHTSA related to the issue and the manufacturer hasn’t reported any injuries. Customers will likely begin seeing formal notifications about the recall as we approach the fall. Though chances are good you’ll already have to take your Mach-E in for one of the other recalls issued over the last twelve months if you’re an owner. The model has had issues with seatbelt buckles, windshield seals, roof fitment, a loose subframe, and its power control module.
[Image: Ford Motor Co.]
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