Detroit – February 11, 2019 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2011-2013 F-150 vehicles equipped with a problematic 6-speed automatic transmission. Up to 1,263,051 2011-2013 model year F-150s equipped with 6R80 automatic transmission may be affected.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford has identified various causal factors of an intermittent transmission output speed sensor signal in this population of vehicles, including contamination, power short to ground, connector corrosion, connector pin swaging, and incorrect outputs from the OSS. Some vehicles may experience an intermittent loss of the transmission OSS signal within the powertrain control module, potentially resulting in a temporary, unintended downshift into first gear.
Depending on the vehicle speed at the time of an intermittent OSS failure, an abrupt transmission downshift to first gear could occur. A downshift to first gear without warning could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. A downshift to first gear may illuminate a malfunction indicator light. In some cases, the OSS signal could recover while driving and the vehicle will resume normal function; in other cases, the affected vehicle may need to be stopped and restarted to regain normal transmission operation.
Timeline of Events
According to the Ford’s chronology report submitted to the NHTSA, in April 2016 Ford’s Field Review Committee noted that certain 2011-2012 MY F-150, and 2012-2013 MY Expedition, Navigator, and Mustang vehicles equipped with 6R80 transmissions were experienced unplanned downshifts related to intermittent failures of the OSS. The investigation identified that an equipment maintenance issue at the lead frame supplier could lead to a solder joint fatigue crack in the OSS circuit. Between May 2016 and December 2017, Ford continued to monitor reports for other vehicles with 6R80 transmissions and transmission driveability concerns related to OSS sensors, but analysis found that nearly 98 percent of reports did not result in a downshift into first gear with wheel slip.
Between January and December 2018 Ford continued to obtain and analyze parts from complaint vehicles, and found no attributable pattern of intermittent OSS signal loss in vehicles outside of the recalled group. Ford is aware of five reports of accidents, including one of “whiplash,” potentially related to this condition. On Feb. 4, 2019, Ford’s FRC reviewed the concern and approved a voluntary recall of the primary population of vehicles with known OSS issues.
According to the NHTSA, Ford will notify owners whose vehicles are affected by the recall on or around March 4, 2019. Dealers will reprogram the Powertrain Control Module with software that will prevent an unintended downshift into first gear and illuminate the MIL in the event of an intermittent OSS signal, free of charge. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 19S07. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V075000.