Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) said Wednesday that it is recalling 13,896 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicles delivered to U.S. dealers and 239 of the vehicles delivered in Canada to repair a transmission problem. The company said that it is aware of one incident related to the issue that occurred while the vehicle was being transported during production and that the incident did not result in any injuries.
Federal regulations require a manual park release cover to be installed and only removable with a special tool. If the cover is missing, the manual park release lever may be accidentally activated resulting in unintended vehicle movement if the electronic park brake is not applied. Such movement increases the risk of a crash.
A related issue is that the instrument cluster of the affected vehicles may have been left in factory mode. In this state, warning alerts and chimes don’t work and do not display the transmission’s gear positions (PRNDL), nor which gear is selected. Federal rules require gear positions and selected gear to be displayed whenever the shifter is not in the park position.
The affected Ford Explorers were built at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant between March 27 and July 24 of this year. The Lincoln Aviators were built at the same plant between April 10 and July 24.
Ford said dealers would fix the problems before the vehicles are delivered to customers. Dealers will check to see if a manual park release cover is installed and install one if needed. They also will verify that the instrument cluster has not been left in factory mode and clear any diagnostic codes.
The company’s stock closed up 2.7% on Tuesday at $9.48 but traded down about 0.8% in the first half-hour of Wednesday’s regular session at $9.40. The stock’s 52-week range is $7.41 to $10.56, and the 12-month consensus price target is $10.86.
The share price dip likely is due to a weak futures market Wednesday morning following more interest-rate easing and raising concerns over the effect of an escalating trade war on the global economy. Industrial stocks are being hit especially hard.