1.5 Million Ford Pickups Added to Transmission-Related Recall

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Wednesday announced three vehicle recalls, including one for 1.48 million model year 2011 to 2013 F-150 pickups to fix a transmission problem that was the subject of a 2016 recall of some model year 2011 and 2012 trucks. The earlier recall also included some model year 2012 Ford Expeditions, Lincoln Navigators and Ford Mustangs.

The company also said Wednesday that it is recalling about 27,000 model year 2017 to 2019 Lincoln Continentals sold in the United States and 1,200 sold in Canada to replace door latch assemblies that could fail to engage fully and increase the risk that the door may open while driving.

The third recall includes about 4,350 model year Ford Mustangs, Lincoln Nautiluses and Lincoln Navigators in which the instrument panel cluster may be blank when the vehicle is started.

The F-150 recall includes about 1.26 million trucks sold in the United States and another 221,000 sold in Canada. The six-speed automatic transmission in these vehicles may, without warning, downshift into first gear. “Depending on vehicle speed, a downshift … could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash,” according to Ford’s recall notice.

The company said it is aware of five accident reports potentially due to this condition, including one report of “whiplash.”

In 2016, Ford recalled about 154,000 F-150 pickups and other vehicles to fix a similar problem. At the time the company said it was aware of three accidents and no injuries related to the issue.

In December 2017, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reopened its investigation into this issue after the Office of Defects Investigation received 123 reports from vehicle owners. One of those complaints, cited at CarComplaints.com, described what happens:

I was driving close to 50 mph on a street and the truck suddenly downshifted to first gear without warning. The rear wheels locked up and went into a skid. The engine revved to the redline. After several seconds the transmission shifted back up into a higher gear and resumed normal operation. It was a spontaneous problem and has not been able to be reproduced.

As in the 2016 recall, the current recall to repair the transmission will be done by updating the vehicle’s powertrain control module.

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