Ford Recalling 'Mustang' Mach-E Over Battery Issues
On Monday, Ford Motor Co. notified dealers that it would be issuing a stop-sale notice for the all-electric “Mustang” Mach-E. The note made mention that the high-voltage contacts on the battery could overheat and cause malfunctions — potentially causing the vehicle to lose power while in operation or even fail to start.
Considering how absolutely wicked battery fires can become, this was likely a prudent move on the part of Ford. Over the last several years, EVs have been getting some negative attention for fires related to charging or battery failures of late and Blue Oval is likely aware that any mishaps with the Mach-E will be amplified as a result. Nipping this in the bud immediately is wise. However, the resulting recall has defaulted to the industry standard solution of issuing a software update on the affected models.
While tweaking the software can help mitigate problems, manufacturers have started leaning on the strategy as a way to buy time until a more comprehensive hardware fix is developed. This may also be the situation with Ford, as it doesn’t even want dealers to demonstrate the Mach-E to potential customers and used capitalized letters to make that point. Transcripts of the dealer notice shared on the relevant Mach-E forums have likewise mentioned that parts pertaining to the subsequent recall were unavailable. However, the phrasing used by the automaker makes the assumed lack of any parts interchangeable with the planned software update a corporate spokesperson said should be available next month.
In the affected vehicles, it is possible that the high voltage battery main contactors may overheat, which can result in an open contactor or welding condition. Should the contactors weld closed while driving, a powertrain malfunction warning light will be illuminated on the next drive cycle, along with a no start condition.
If the contactors open while driving, a powertrain malfunction warning light will be illuminated, the vehicle will display Stop Safely Now in the instrument panel cluster, and the vehicle will experience an immediate loss of motive power. The vehicle will coast to a stop, and all 12V systems including power brakes and steering will remain functional.
From here, the notice goes on to remind dealers that the problems pertain to new stock vehicles as well and makes another mention that the “software and/or parts ordering information” likely won’t be made available until the third quarter of 2022.
At present, the recall pertains only to Mach-E models assembled between May 27th, 2020, and May 24th, 2022, at the Ford plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico. Vehicles produced in Chongqing, China, have not been made subject to any formal recalls. But that still leaves 48,924 units sold on our market with problems needing to be addressed.
There don’t appear to be any open investigations from the NHTSA related to the issue and the manufacturer hasn’t reported any injuries. Customers will likely begin seeing formal notifications about the recall as we approach the fall. Though chances are good you’ll already have to take your Mach-E in for one of the other recalls issued over the last twelve months if you’re an owner. The model has had issues with seatbelt buckles, windshield seals, roof fitment, a loose subframe, and its power control module.
[Image: Ford Motor Co.]
3SpeedAutomatic on Jun 20, 2022
New technology, new headaches: Model T: only two blade fan. Later updated to 4 blades GM: Took effort to get PowerGlide correct, then suddenly moved to 3 speed automatic Ford: first 4 speed automatics (AOD) caused engine to stall when hitting the brakes at speed Tesla: fire in the hole!! Ford Mack-E : And this too shall pass!! Moral of the story: Pass on "bleeding edge technology" for the first few years. You'll be happier in the long run.
Speedlaw on Jun 20, 2022
Wicked Heat from battery fires ? I attended a seminar where a firefighter talked about this. I already knew that battery fire is 45 minutes of keeping it all wet, but was surprised to learn that the heat load from a burning battery pack can affect the structural stability of the concrete in an underground garage !
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- FreedMike Can the final last call edition be the Secretary Special, with a V6 and a vinyl roof?
- FreedMike I’ve never heard of this so I’ll have no problem not attending.
- ToolGuy As I understand it, the Toyota Prius basically lasts forever because the engine gets a gentle duty cycle and the battery gets babied. This seems like the opposite of that.[Impressive tech, not for me, but then neither is the Prius.]
- Dusterdude Excellent work ! Your stories are always linguistically interesting . Even if you weren’t writing about a quirky car on a long and adventuresome journey - I know your write up would still be interesting ! ( I also have a Soft spot for large cars - as my daily driver is a 2000 Chrysler Concorde )
- MaintenanceCosts There have always been just two reasons to buy AMG cars: the menacing, hard-edged V8 warble, and the styling with subtle shapes but perfectly aggressive details. This is missing both of those things: the styling has gotten cartoonishly aggressive, and the engine will sound like a fart-can Civic. I don't understand why I should want it.