Ford Again Shifts Into Recall Mode, Citing Rollaway Risk

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford again shifts into recall mode citing rollaway risk

Recalls to prevent cars from rolling away from their owners have become commonplace, and Ford is no stranger to the phenomenon. Last year, the automaker recalled 550,000 Fusions and Escapes to replace vulnerable automatic transmission shift cables that could leave the car in the wrong gear, regardless of where the driver positions the shift lever.

On Wednesday, Ford announced a recall for the exact same problem, plus a second one for a similar issue. While the Fusion makes up the bulk of the affected vehicles, the brand new Ranger pickup also finds itself on the receiving end of some unwanted PR.

The recall covers 2013-2016 Fusions equipped with the base 2.5-liter inline-four, built at both the Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan and Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico facility. That model year range is the same last last year’s recall, though these vehicles weren’t included in the earlier call-back.

In total, some 270,000 Fusions in North America are under recall for a shift cable bushing that can degrade, causing the cable to detach from the transmission. Should this happen, a vehicle can remain in a drive gear even after the owner shifts into park. The automaker claims it has three reports of property damage and one injury on file as a probably result of the problem.

Of the total, just over 10,000 afflicted vehicles were sold in Canada, with another 3,000 found in Mexico.

A second, separate recall impacts owners of the 2019 Ranger. Ford wants about 2,500 U.S. examples of the pickup back in the shop to check fasteners that secure the transmission shift cable bracket. If not torqued to proper specs, the fasteners could let go, leading to the same outcome as in the Fusion recall. Some 260 Rangers are under recall in Canada.

“Dealers will properly torque the two fasteners and verify the proper operation of the transmission selector assembly according to established workshop manual procedure,” the company stated.

Owners of both sets of vehicles are advised to make good use of their parking brake.

Last month, Fiat Chrysler recalled a slew of Darts that could become wayward after their shift cables detach. This recall, like the others, follow a period in which automakers, most notably Fiat Chrysler, rushed to deal with problems resulting from unorthodox shift levers placed in automatic-equipped vehicles. Dials and “return to center” monostable shifters led to customer confusion, forcing automakers to install auto-park features to prevent accidental runaways. For Ford, the feature was worth bragging about.

[Image: Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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  • Carrera Carrera on May 15, 2019

    Don't see too many of these on the roads. Seen two so far. Either they don't sell or they are not fully out in force yet

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on May 15, 2019

    Ford, or the automotive companies are not alone on this behavior. If one reads the multiple accounts from many news outlets regarding the 737MAX fiasco, they seem to agree that the failure was related to what has euphemistically been called "stock-market capitalism". Which simply means: the corporations have to meet the market's financial expectations, such that stock price will continue to rise, and damn the torpedoes! All of them.

  • MrIcky Out of the possible Jeep recalls to bring up on this site, I'm surprised it's this one and not round 2 of the clutch recall.
  • Dukeisduke I saw a well-preserved Mark VII LSC on the road not too long ago, and I had to do a double-take. They still have a presence. Back when these were new, a cousin of mine owned an LSC with the BMW turbo diesel.
  • Dukeisduke I imagine that stud was added during the design process for something, and someone further along the process forgot to delete it after it became unnecessary.
  • Analoggrotto Knew about it all along but only now did the risk analysis tilt against leaving it there.
  • Mike Beranek Funny story about the '80 T-bird. My old man's Dart Sport had given up the ghost so he was car-shopping. He & I dropped my mom at a store and then went to the Ford dealer, where we test-drove the new T-Bird (with digital dash!)So we pull up to the store to pick mom up. She walks out and dad says "We just bought it.". Mom stares at the Mulroney- almost 13 grand- and just about fell over.Dad had not in fact bought the T-Bird, instead he got a Cordoba for only 9 grand.