Ford is recalling more than a million vehicles after announcing three safety recalls that could impact U.S. customers.
The largest of the recalls impact Explorer SUV models that were produced from 2011 through 2017 due to a fractured rear toe leak in the suspension. In total, that recall is impacting approximately 1.2 million vehicles.
According to Ford, Explorers subject to recall are “exposed to frequent full rear suspension articulation (jounce and rebound)" may experience the toe link failure, a condition that could significantly impact the vehicle's ability to be steered, increasing the chances for a crash.
Ford said that one customer reported hitting a curb when the toe link broke, though there have been no reports of any injuries related to the condition. The affected vehicles were built between May 17, 2010, and Jan. 25, 2017.
Those impacted by the recall can have dealers remove and replace the left and right-hand rear suspension toe links with a newly forged toe link. The rear suspension will then be re-aligned.
The second recall impacts 2013 Ford F-150 vehicles with a six-speed automatic transmission calibration issue. Affected F-150 models equipped with either a 5.0-liter or 6.2-liter V8 engine previously had their powertrain control module reprogrammed as part of a separate recall. Those vehicles may have received an incomplete software update.
“The powertrain control module software used to service these vehicles in accordance with recall 19S07 was incomplete,” Ford said. “It did not have the updates necessary to prevent a potential unintended downshift into first gear or the updates necessary to ensure illumination of the malfunction indicator light in the event of an intermittent transmission output speed sensor signal.”
Ford said that vehicles without the intended calibration remain at risk for unintended transmission downshift due to intermittent output speed sensor failure. Depending on speed, an abrupt transmission downshift to first gear without warning could result in loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.
Approximately 123,000 Ford F-150s are subject to the recall, though there have not been any reports of crashes or injuries as a result. The impacted vehicles were produced between May 7, 2012, to Oct. 27, 2013, and between April 18, 2012, and Nov. 18, 2013.
Lastly, Ford is recalling approximately 4,300 2009 through 2016 Ford Econoline vehicles that have a 5R110W transmission, 5.4-liter engine, and a school bus or ambulance prep package.
According to Ford, the “affected vehicles contain a capacitive discharge weld within a coast clutch component in the transmission. A substandard weld may fatigue and fail, causing an elevated rate of reports of the loss of the ability to move in the subject vehicle applications.”
All normal engine, braking, and steering functionality is unaffected. Reports indicate that the majority of weld failures occur when torque is highest, which is when the driver attempts to accelerate from a stop.
“An elevated rate of loss of mobility in school bus and ambulance vehicle applications could present a unique risk to passengers or occupants including a loss of mobility in school bus applications may result in the transfer of unchaperoned children when the vehicle is immobilized in a roadway,” Ford stated. “Loss of vehicle mobility in ambulance applications may result in delay of patient treatment. Ford is unaware of any accidents resulting from this condition.”
The Econolines being recalled were produced between May 11, 2009, through Dec. 10, 2015. To remedy the issue, dealers will replace the coast clutch cylinder and the single-engaging coast one-way clutch with a dual-engaging one-way clutch.
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