Ford Recalls 1.48M F-150s For Sudden Downshift, Crash Concern
When an automaker recalls nearly 1.5 million vehicles, people generally notice. When the vehicle in question is the best-selling Ford F-150, it’s doubly so. And when the crux of the recall is an issue that could potentially cause a serious accident, you basically have a perfect storm of concern. Here’s what you need to know.
Ford says that certain F-150 pickup trucks built for the 2011 through 2013 model years with a six-speed automatic transmission could experience a sudden, unexpected downshift into first gear. If you’re driving slow that’s probably not a big deal, but such a downshift at higher speeds could cause a loss of traction, since the wheels simply can’t turn fast enough. That could cause the truck to skid out of control, which obviously increases the risk of a crash.
This problem may have already caused accidents. In its recall statement, Ford says it’s aware of five cases where an accident occurred that could be related to this problem. In one of those accidents, whiplash was also reported.
The recall identifies a potential loss of signal from the transmission output speed sensor as the likely problem. The sensor sends information to the vehicle’s powertrain control module, and if the signal is interrupted for any reason, the unexpected downshift could occur. The affected F-150s were built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant from April 28, 2010, through October 28, 2013. Other affected trucks were built at the automaker’s Kansas City Assembly Plant from May 18, 2019, through November 18, 2013.
Approximately 1.48 million trucks are included in the recall, including 1.26 million in the U.S. and 221,000 in Canada. Ford will remedy the problem by installing an update to the powertrain control module software.