Ford Calls Back 1.48 Million F-150s for Transmission Flaw

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Ford Motor Company announced a recall of 1.48 million F-150 pickups Wednesday, the latest callback related to a six-speed automatic transmission that can suddenly crash-dive to first gear.

The models in question are 2011-2013 F-150s. Ford claims the vehicles “may experience an intermittent loss of the transmission output speed sensor signal to the powertrain control module, potentially resulting in a temporary, unintended downshift into first gear.”

Five incidents are connected to the problem, with one driver reportedly experiencing a whiplash injury. At highway speeds, a first-gear downshift can lock up the rear wheels and cause a loss of control.

The recall covers 1.26 million vehicles sold in the United States and federalized territories, with another 221,000 sold in Canada. Affected vehicles rolled out of Ford’s Dearborn Assembly Plant from April 28, 2010 to Oct. 28, 2013, and from its Kansas City Assembly Plant from May 18, 2010 to Nov. 18, 2013.

Owners should begin receiving notifications on March 4th. The fix involves an update to the trucks’ powertrain control software.

Ford’s sudden downshift issue cropped up years ago, and in April of 2016 the automaker recalled a slew of models to fix the issue. That recall covered 202,000 2011-2012 Ford F-150, 2012 Expedition, Ford Mustang and Lincoln Navigator vehicles.

Early last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the issue after 123 complaints rolled in after the 2016 recall. In the NHTSA’s crosshairs were 1,375,577 F-150s, Expeditions, and Navigators from the 2011 to 2013 model years.

[Image: Ford]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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4 of 20 comments
  • Mike-NB2 Mike-NB2 on Feb 13, 2019

    Transmission problem? Wouldn't that just be the lack of a manual one???

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Feb 14, 2019

    Whiplash from a 0.3g braking incident? Okay, I suppose it could have been locked in 4x4 and caused as much as 0.8g of deceleration. Scary stuff, indeed. The human body was not designed to withstand the sort of extreme dynamic forces that a pickup truck can generate.

  • Goatshadow Goatshadow on Feb 14, 2019

    My coworker's 2013 F-150 had this problem last year. Driving around in traffic and suddenly getting stuck in 1st gear and then limp mode. He had to pay the dealership over a grand to fix it. This news is giving him hope of getting his money back.

  • Gasser Gasser on Feb 14, 2019

    Another month, another Ford recall. This long stream of recalls is really hitting their bottom line, as Wall Street notes. I wonder what will be March’s recall?