Dearborn, Mich. – Feb. 5, 2018 – Ford Motor Company has recalled approximately 363 sport utility vehicles potentially equipped with defective second-row window electronic control modules, according to a company press release.
The campaign affects 2018 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs assembled between Nov. 27, 2017, and Dec. 9, 2017 at the automaker’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. Ford estimates half of the models referenced in the action actually contain the defective parts.
Affected vehicles may contain second-row window electronic control modules that were manufactured incorrectly and are therefore prone to malfunction, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Under certain conditions, the electronic modules in question may reach their thermal protection thresholds, inhibiting the automatic reverse function – a safety feature that goes into action when an obstruction is present. This poses a serious safety risk to occupants. However, Ford has yet to receive reports connecting the defective electronic modules to any accidents or injuries.
The defective part also violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 118 Section 5, which requires vehicles of 10,000 pounds or more to contain power window systems that “minimize the risk of injury or death from their accidental operation,” according to The Federal Register.
Engineers for the automobile company have learned that occupants can move second-row windows without active automatic reverse functionality 500 millimeters at a time using the manual control switches on the doors. Additionally, the condition automatically resolves itself when electronic control modules fall below their thermal protection thresholds.
Timeline of Events
In December 2017, engineers conducting end-of-line vehicles review processes at the Kentucky Truck Plant discovered two models with defective second-row windows. These personnel suspected there was an issue with the electronic control modules in these fixtures and asked the supplier, Kostal of America, to investigate the components it delivered to Ford for installation. The parts provider found that the electronic control modules were improperly assembled. Laboratory tests confirmed that the misconstructed features reached their thermal protection thresholds in “high window load” scenarios, leading to operational issues. These initial findings were sent to the Critical Concern Group for further review.
On Jan. 5, 2018, Ford conducted further tests to determine if the fixtures met the requirements of FMVSS 118, which they did not.
The Field Review Committee reviewed the matter Jan. 8 and ultimately decided to launch a voluntary safety recall. Ford notified dealers Jan. 17.
Ford has directed dealers to inspect the second-row window electronic control modules installed in affected models and, if necessary, replace them free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgment document from the NHTSA. The automaker intends to notify owners via first-class mail between Feb. 5 and Feb. 9. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Ford customer service at (866) 436-7332. Callers should use the internal recall identification code 18C01. Concerned owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.