Laguna Hills, CA – June 18, 2019 – Tens of thousands of F-150s – consistently the best-selling vehicle in America – are being recalled by the Ford Motor Company due to flaws within the truck’s powertrain control module, which may cause the vehicle to downshift without warning. The unexpectedness of such a scenario may reduce a driver’s ability to maintain control of the car, thus increasing the risk of a crash and resulting injury. This latest recall is a follow-up to one that occurred in March over a similar issue.
Owners are urged to bring their trucks back to the dealer so a free fix can be scheduled, which will likely involve a reprogramming or full-scale replacement of the PCM. Motorists will be notified officially no later than June 24 by first-class mail.
As corroborated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford is recalling 107,857 2013 F-150 trucks due to malfunctions with the powertrain control module, which were first brought to the attention of the automaker in 2016 and have since resulted in a number of follow-up investigations. In fact, certain 2011-2013 F-150s were recalled over PCM issues back in February, only that one involved over 1.2 million vehicles. The concern at the time was the potential for these trucks to suddenly downshift to a lower gear, even though motorists may be traveling at a high speed – which would, under normal circumstances, prevent that from happening.
The difference between this latest fault and the one discovered in February is the software used to reprogram the PCM wasn’t the latest version, so the initial configuration may not have worked. In essence, this latest recall is to correct the original.
If motorists are operating an adversely affected F-150, they may experience a reduction in speed out of nowhere. This could raise the risk of an accident, particularly on the highway where other motorists are driving at 65 miles per hour and over. Speed is consistently the leading factor in car crashes, according to NHTSA.
Timeline of Events
On May 16, a technician alerted Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group that certain 2013 F-150s whose powertrains were reprogrammed may not have been fixed with the appropriate software updates in place. To determine those involved, Ford launched an investigation and concluded that the corrections weren’t applied to trucks with 5.0 and 6.2 liter engines. Thus, those that were recalled initially would need to be recalled again, which Ford’s Field Review Committee authorized on June 3. The company believes potentially as many as 100% of the 107,857 F-150s may still have PCMs that weren’t appropriately calibrated, assuming motorists brought them to their dealer when they were first informed of the glitch.
The Ford F-Series commands quite the presence in the automotive world. In 2017, more than 896,000 trucks were sold nationwide, according to Business Insider, its best-selling year on record, which dates back to 1977. It’s consistently the top-seller of all models in the U.S. – a feat reached for 36 years running. This may explain why this and the original recall affected so many.
Ford says that the recall will get underway officially on June 24, when owners will be notified of the issue by mail. Motorists are urged to bring their truck back to an authorized Ford dealer for a fresh PCM reprogramming. Like the original – and virtually all safety recalls – the service is complimentary.
For more information on this recall, owners have several options. They can contact by phone, dialing 1-866-436-7332, which is Ford’s toll-free hotline. Alternatively, check MotorSafety.org by entering the truck’s VIN in the designated field.