Ford is reaching out to the owners of certain 2023 Ford trucks and SUVs regarding a power-train issue that could lead to a loss of 4-wheel drive. The front wheels could also lock up as a result of the defect. This problem has been discovered in the 2023 model year Ford F-150 4×4, as well as the Ford Expedition 4×4 and Lincoln Navigator 4×4 vehicles.
The problem was first detected in January 2023 during the loading process, when reports of front axle pinion fractures on three F-150 4×4 vehicles were received by Ford’s critical concern review group (CCRG). An investigation into the issue found that the same pinions were installed on the Expedition and Navigator 4×4 vehicles.
Further investigation showed that the fractured pinions did not undergo the required heat treatment process at Ford’s axle manufacturing plant. This heat treatment process is crucial to reduce the hardness and brittleness of the pinion stem threads. The problem was limited to pinions in 3.73:1 gear ratio axles, and a team was dispatched to conduct eddy current hardness checks of all available stock at affected assembly plants. The CCRG investigative team also reviewed plant process records to determine the build population of suspect dates.
The pinion can break at any time in 4×4 applications, but it is expected to happen primarily while in reverse as the pinion is subject to higher loads. The driver may hear a loud noise when the pinion breaks or when the drive shaft and flange hit the frame cross member and stability bar after the pinion fractures.
Ford will replace the front axle pinion gear set, and if there is a broken front axle pinion, the entire axle assembly will be replaced. Ford’s recall number is 23S07, and the NHTSA campaign number is 23V-128.
If you own a 2023 Ford Expedition, F-150, or Navigator, it is important to be aware of this recall and take appropriate action. This is a safety-related issue that should be addressed to avoid any potential safety hazards while driving.