Nearly 50,000 Ford Super Duty pickup trucks have been recalled, due to a risk that transmission components may have been damaged during the manufacturing process, which may cause the parking brake to fail and allow the heavy vehicles to roll away unexpectedly.
The Ford F-250 Super Duty recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 14, following at least three consumer complaints that indicated the large pickup trucks rolled while the transmission shift lever was in the “Park” position.
The recalled Ford trucks are each equipped with 6R100 transmissions, which may have faulty park rod actuating plates that prevent the transmission from shifting fully to mechanical park, despite the shifter knob fully engaged in the Park position.
According to the NHTSA, Ford Motor Company opened an investigation on March 30, 2017 into three warranty claims. Ford’s team of investigators inspected the vehicles and found damage on the ramp feature of the transmission park rod actuating plate. In the event vehicles have damaged actuating plates, it can prevent the park rod actuating cam from engaging the transmission park pawl, which may cause a roll away hazard.
Ford announced it reached out to its supplier and received information that a tooling issue at their suppliers manufacturing location may have resulted in damage to some park rod actuating plates. Ford’s Field Review Committee determined a valid safety risk was present in these specific vehicles and initiated a recall.
The recall includes 2017 model year 6.2 F-250 vehicles with 6R100 transmissions that were manufactured by Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan from October 9, 2015 through March 30, 2017. The recall includes all of the models and not just a subset of specific VINs.
The recall includes an estimated 48,443 trucks that were distributed throughout the United States to licensed Ford dealers.
Customers with recalled models are being asked that when the Park gear is selected to also engage the emergency brake to prevent a roll away hazard until the vehicles are inspected and repaired.
Ford announced it does not have the parts readily available to begin repairs and will be sending a preliminary notification to owners informing them of the issue, and a second notice sometime after when parts become available instructing customers to schedule a free repair at their local dealer where dealers will be instructed to inspect the park rod actuating plate and replace it if necessary. Customers with additional questions may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 and reference the recall number 17C06.
Last year the automobile industry was riddled with parking brake issues that caused many different types of vehicles to pose a roll away hazard, resulting in at least three manufacturers announcing recalls for over a million different vehicles. Most of those issues stemmed from confusion over new electronic gear shifters, which may cause some drivers to not realize the vehicle is not in park before exiting the car.
In April 2016, Fiat Chrysler announced a recall of roughly 1.1 million mid-size SUV’s and mid-size sedans, following reports of hundreds of accidents and dozens of injuries that occurred after drivers thought their vehicle was in the “Park” position when selecting gears.
An investigation by the automaker and the NHTSA discovered at least 314 roll-away accidents and 41 injuries that may be related to a new design for the vehicle’s gear shifter. The design appeared to confuse drivers, since the shifter returns to the same position after each gear selection. The shifters are not designed as the traditional “PRND” layouts, which many drivers are accustom to. It appears that this is causing drivers to make incorrect conclusions about the status of the vehicle.
In addition to the new parking gear selector confusion, Honda and Nissan recalled nearly 400,000 vehicles combined last year, due to traditional shifters being able to move out of the park position without pressing the brake and due to faulty electrical components within the gear selector, all posing roll away, crash and injury hazards.