Ford recalls over 550,000 pickups due to transmission problem 

National News

By Jana J. Pruet 
Contributing Writer 

Ford has issued a safety recall on more than 550,000 pickup trucks in the United States due to a transmission problem. 

The company said the recall covers 552,188 of the automaker’s 2014 model F-150 pickup. Ford F-series trucks are the nation’s top-selling vehicles. Vehicles sold in Canada are also part of the recall. 

Documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the affected vehicles can unexpectedly downshift to first gear regardless of speed due to an “intermittent loss of the transmission output shaft speed sensor signal to the powertrain control module.” 

“Depending on the vehicle speed at the time of the intermittent OSS failure, an abrupt transmission downshift to first gear could occur,” the Safety Recall Report reads. “A downshift to first gear without warning could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of crash.” 

The recall comes after U.S. auto safety regulators opened an investigation in March after complaints about Ford pickup trucks that can abruptly downshift to a lower gear. 

Ford said it had received 396 warranty and field reports and 124 customer complaints about the problem, covering 482 trucks, according to the documents. 

The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker has identified multiple causes for the signal loss, including “contamination, power short to ground, connector erosion, connector pin swaging, and incorrect outputs from the OSS sensor,” the report states. 

Some vehicles in a certain vehicle identification number range are not affected by the recall. Ford is asking people to call its toll-free number at 1-866-436-7332 or contact a local dealership to find out if their vehicle is part of the recall. 

Dealers will update the powertrain control software at no charge. Ford says it will notify owners by letter in early July. Owners who paid for the system’s repair prior to the recall may be eligible for reimbursement.  

In a statement Tuesday, Ford said it expects repairs to be available in the third quarter of this year. Owners will be able to use mobile service or pickup and delivery service at participating dealers. 

Ford says it is aware of 130 complaints to the government, including 52 alleging that rear wheels locked up or that drivers lost control of the vehicle. Two of the complainants reported injuries, and one reported a crash that could have been caused by the problem. 

The statement also said a malfunction indicator light could be seen on the dashboard before the truck downshifted to first gear. In some cases, the OSS signal can be restored while the vehicle is moving and can be driven normally.  

“In other cases, the vehicle may need to be stopped and restarted to regain normal transmission operation,” Ford said.  

The company said it expects less than 1% of the recalled vehicles to have the problem and that it is working with the NHTSA to support the investigation. 

Other Recent Ford Recalls 

Last month, the company issued a recall on 243,000 Maverick pickups in the United States because the tail lights may not illuminate. 

The company said the vehicle’s computer could falsely detect too much current on one or both tail lamps, causing them not to illuminate while the truck is being driven. The headlights, turn signals, and brake lights were not affected. 

The recall covered the 2022 through 2024 model years. 

In April, more than 55,000 SUVs and pickups in the United States and Canada were recalled due to a battery charge detection issue on the Bronco Sport SUV built between 2021 and 2024 and the Maverick truck built in 2022. 

The recall notice stated that the powertrain and body control modules of affected vehicles may be unable to detect a change in the battery charge level. The issue can cause the engine to stall and fail to restart after a driver does a start-stop. It can also cause the hazard lights not to work. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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