Ford Issues Recall for ‘Forced Neutral Condition’

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

An oddball situation has prompted the Blue Oval to recall a number of its hybrid vehicles, lest the machines suddenly pop themselves into neutral whilst at speed.

This writer will cop to numerous hoopties with a manual transmission from years past which would rudely and unexpectedly take themselves out of gear (I had one, too! -- Ed.), though this apparent issue is nothing so analog. According to documents filed with the  NHTSA, certain hybrid-equipped models of the 2022-2024cFord Maverick and 2020-2022 Escape, along with the 2021-2022 Lincoln Corsair, may suddenly find themselves in a so-called ‘forced neutral condition’ following a software update.

The automakers says affected vehicles received a software update that can cause the vehicle to pop into neutral while driving. Keep in mind that these machines have electronic shifters of varying design – a dial in the Fords, buttons in the Lincoln – so this is some sort of rogue line of code buried in that software update that’s causing the problem. As the vehicle coasts to a stop, the thing will place itself in Park which is considerate since doing so at 60 mph would cause unwanted figure eights on our nations’ highways. If the driver chooses to shift back to Drive in an attempt to depart, the vehicle will enter limp mode which provides limited torque at low speeds up to 30mph.

Thanks to record keeping of which machines received these software updates, Ford can say that 81 Corsairs are affected, 277 Escapes are affected, and 8,369 Mavericks are affected by this recall. While steering and brakes are said to be unaffected during this confab, the loss of motive power could certainly lead to an incident in certain conditions. Ford says it is not aware of any incidents or injury related to this recall.

Dealers were notified of the problem a couple of days ago. Mailings to affected owners are scheduled to begin next week with instructions to hit up a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the vehicle software updated to the latest version.

[Image: Ford]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • 3-On-The-Tree 3-On-The-Tree on May 17, 2024

    The trim level of the vehicle may have a lot to do with the amount of controls that run through the screen. My 2021 Tundra SR5 Crewmax hvac only has separate controls and knobs which is the way I like it. On mine the screen only sets the radio options and map, vehicle alerts maintenance etc. I prefer No screen.

  • Stephen Stephen on May 18, 2024

    Never had such a problem with my Toyota products.

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.