Laguna Hills, CA – May 18, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2013-2016 Ford Fusion vehicles equipped with 2.5 liter engines because a transmission defect could allow the driver to shift into Park and remove the ignition key while the vehicle may still be in gear. If this happens, the vehicle may unexpectedly roll away from its parked position, increasing the chance of an accident. As many as 259,182 vehicles may be affected.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the transmission shifter cable bushing may deteriorate over time, causing it to disconnect from the transmission. When this happens, if the driver shifts into Park, the vehicle could still be in gear even after the key is removed. This could lead to the vehicle unexpectedly moving or rolling away, potentially resulting in a crash.
Timeline of Events
Ford first addressed the “roll and park” issue July 2018 in a field action involving certain 2013-16 Fusion and 2013-14 Escape vehicles that had missing or damaged shift cable bushings. In one part of the vehicle population affected by the defect, the cause was traced to a transmission grease that was not compatible with the bushing material; in the other trucks, the automaker could not find any root cause.
Following the first field-service action, Ford continued to investigate the origin of the defect, monitoring field data on vehicles not included in the original field action. From Aug. 2018 to April 2019, the automaker held periodic reviews of the matter, sharing results of its tests and internal investigations on an ongoing basis.
From April to May, Ford’s continuing investigation embraced powertrain package studies, part return engineering analysis, material robustness testing to under-hood fluids and analysis of updated field data. As a result, the automaker determined that the shifter cable bushing in the affected vehicles was performing differently than in other Ford powertrains. Consequently, Ford’s Field Review Committee decided May 13 to approve a field action.
The recall is expected to begin May 28, 2019. A solution for the problem is still under development. Until repairs can be made, vehicle owners are advised to use the parking brake after shifting into Park to prevent roll-away. When a remedy is finalized, the automaker will contact vehicle owners.
Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 19S16. This recall is an expansion of 18V471. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to the www.safercar.gov website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V362000.