Ford Recalling Over 460,000 SUVs Due to Faulty Camera Systems

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The Ford Motor Company is recalling a sizable number of late-model SUVs over faulty rear-view camera systems that may not display what’s behind the vehicle. While rear-facing automotive camera systems are already susceptible to being obscured by roadway grime and cannot offer the same field of view as the driver turning their head, they’re often helpful in seeing behind vehicles without much reward visibility and have been federally mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 2018.

That means automakers are legally obligated to replace defective units, with Blue Oval looking down the barrel of at least 462,000 recalled units thus far. Impacted models include 2020-2023 model year Ford Explorer, Lincoln Corsair, and Lincoln Aviator vehicles equipped with Ford’s 360-degree camera system. Though not all of these are located in the United States, as this is a global recall.

A spokesperson for Ford confirmed with Automotive News that roughly 383,000 vehicles were sold in the U.S. – with more than 39,000 in Canada and at least 5,000 in Mexico.

From AN:

Ford told U.S. auto safety regulators it is aware of 17 minor accidents allegedly resulting from the defect. It is not aware of any injuries.

"Recalls are an important way for us to keep our customers safe and with every recall we want to make the experience of getting serviced easier on our customers," Buczkowski said in a statement to Automotive News. "With this recall, customers will be able to take advantage of mobile service free of charge with participating dealers to get the software update configured on their vehicle at their convenience."

Based on the recall report and documents pertaining to Ford’s internal investigation, it’s not assumed to be the camera itself that’s defective. The manufacturer believes that the video feed is having trouble displaying under specific circumstances. That means it may appear to be fine during one period and then fail the next time you’re attempting to back up out of a parking space. However, once the issue crops up, Ford believes it will be an intermittent problem until the necessary repairs can be conducted.

This involves updating the image processing module via a software push. While tweaking the code of vehicles has recently become the default first line of defense for recalls, they sometimes don’t do much more than buy an automaker time before hardware has to be replaced. Though, based on the data provided, it seems plausible that the unit (provided by French supplier Valeo) is simply having trouble interfacing with the vehicle.

Affected customers will notice their rear-view camera display being replaced with a blue screen and are cautioned against assuming it’ll be an isolated incident.

Ford noted that there have been 21 NHTSA Vehicle Owner Questionnaires submitted by customers experiencing rear camera blue images related to the issue as of January 5th, 2023. There have also been 2,115 warranty reports alleging a blue image in the rear camera display issued since November 30th.

Ford likewise reported that 17 minor accidents have been attributed to the defect. Though it still feels like the true onus of those incidents remains on the driver of the impacted vehicle for pulling out without taking additional precautions. Despite modern vehicles often having lackluster outward visibility, most driving has historically been done without the assistance of rearward-facing cameras.

The recall report states that Ford dealers should be notified starting on January 31st with owners being notified starting on February 20th. If you’re concerned that your SUV might be affected and don’t want to wait on the notification, you can contact the manufacturer directly, or input your vehicle identification number (VIN) into the NHTSA’s database.

[Image: Ford]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 14 comments
  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Jan 28, 2023

    And to think, a while back, Ford had "near Honda" quality.



    -Owner satisfaction.

    Shame. I like the Maverick, Bronco sport, F150. But I would never buy one even though I get the supplier discount.

  • Gray Gray on Jan 28, 2023

    Are you too fat to turn your head?

  • FreedMike Well, here's my roster of car purchases since 1981: Three VWsTwo Mazdas (one being a Mercury Tracer, full disclosure)One AudiOne FordOne BuickOne HondaOne Volvo I think I hear Lee Greenwood in the background... In all seriousness, I'd have bought more American cars had they made more of the kinds of cars I like (smaller, performance-oriented).
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I'll gladly support the least "woke" and the most Japanese auto company out there.
  • Jmo2 I just got an email from the dealership where I bought my car and it looks like everything has $5k on the hood.
  • Lou_BC I suspect that since the global pandemic, dealerships have preferred to stay with the "if you want it, we will order it" business model. They just need some demo models on hand and some shiny bits to catch the impulse buyer. Profits are higher and risks lower this way.
  • Probert When I hear the word "patriot", I think of entitled hateful whining ignorant traitors to democracy. But hey , meant to say "Pass the salt."