Ford Escape GearshiftFord has discovered a problem affecting specific hybrid vehicles, including the 2022-2024 Maverick, 2020-2022 Escape, and 2021-2022 Lincoln Corsair models. These vehicles may contain software that could cause the vehicle to shift into neutral unexpectedly.

Investigation and Findings

In March 2024, Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) initiated an investigation following field reports indicating that some vehicles were shifting to neutral after receiving a Hybrid Powertrain Control Module (HPCM) software update at dealerships. The powertrain controls and calibration team discovered that the new Hybrid Transmission Internal Park Module (HTIPM) software, which had been released for service in January 2024, was incorrectly detecting noise in the Park Motor Position Sensor. This led to the generation of erroneous Park Motor Position Sensor Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) U1010 and U1011.

Field Action Approval

On May 3, 2024, Ford’s Field Review Committee examined the issue and approved a field action to address the problem. According to the defect report, the affected vehicles received HPCM software that could force the vehicle into a neutral state while driving. As the vehicle coasts to a stop, the transmission will automatically shift to “Park”. Despite this issue, drivers retain functionality for power braking and power steering. Once the driver shifts back to drive, the vehicle enters a limp home mode, which provides limited torque at low speeds up to 30 mph.

Reported Incidents and Warranty Claims

Ford has reported 315 warranty claims in North America and 125 Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQs) that may be related to this software issue. These incidents highlight the importance of addressing the defect to ensure driver safety and vehicle reliability.

Recall Details and Owner Notification

To rectify the problem, dealers will update the HPCM software free of charge. Ford plans to mail owner notification letters starting on May 23, 2024. For reference, Ford’s recall number for this issue is 24S33, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign number is 24V-330.

Owners of the affected vehicles are encouraged to contact their dealers promptly to schedule the necessary software update. Ensuring that your vehicle receives this update is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and safety.

Summary

  • Affected Vehicles: 2022-2024 Ford Maverick, 2020-2022 Ford Escape, and 2021-2022 Lincoln Corsair hybrid models.
  • Issue: Software may cause unexpected shifts into neutral.
  • Investigation Start: March 2024 by Ford’s CCRG.
  • Findings: Noise in Park Motor Position Sensor detected by HTIPM software, causing erroneous DTCs U1010 and U1011.
  • Action Approved: May 3, 2024, by Ford’s Field Review Committee.
  • Incidents Reported: 315 warranty claims and 125 VOQs in North America.
  • Solution: HPCM software update by dealers.
  • Owner Notification: Letters to be mailed starting May 23, 2024.
  • Recall Numbers: Ford 24S33, NHTSA 24V-330.

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is taking action to address a safety concern with specific 2020-2022 Lincoln Aviator and 2020-2022 Ford Explorer vehicles that are equipped with 3.0L PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) engines. These vehicles may have a manufacturing defect in one or more of the high voltage battery cells, which could lead to an internal short circuit and a potential battery fire.

Discovery of the Issue

Ford became aware of this issue in June 2023 when they received a report regarding thermal venting problems with the PHEV battery used in these vehicles. The report highlighted a 2021 model year Transit Custom in France experiencing PHEV battery thermal venting. Subsequent analysis, conducted by the battery cell supplier, revealed an internal short circuit in the vehicle’s high voltage battery pack, partly due to the presence of a folded anode tab, which occurred during the cell manufacturing process.

Ongoing Investigation

The supplier’s investigation indicated that another, as yet unidentified, factor is necessary for the folded anode tab condition to lead to battery thermal venting. The supplier is actively conducting component-level testing to pinpoint this second factor. While this factor remains unknown, the Ford Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) has been working to identify the group of vehicles that may potentially have the cell folded anode tab condition.

Additional Incidents

Ford was aware of three more instances of cells with folded anode tabs in the field. These incidents involved a 2020 model year Aviator in the United States, resulting in PHEV battery thermal venting, another 2020 model year Aviator in the United States resulting in a Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) but no battery thermal venting, and a 2020 model year Aviator in Canada, also resulting in an MIL but no battery thermal venting.

Preventive Measures

To address this issue, Ford has reviewed the cell supplier’s manufacturing process and made improvements during cell production to reduce the occurrence of the folded anode tab condition. The timing of these process enhancements has been used by the CCRG to determine the affected population of vehicles.

Recall Procedure

Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified and requested to visit their authorized Ford dealers for a Battery Energy Control Module (BECM) diagnostic test. If the test identifies a battery problem, the high voltage battery pack will be replaced at no cost to the owner. To check if your vehicle is part of this recall, refer to Ford’s recall number 23S53 and the NHTSA campaign number 23V-626.

Ford Motor Company (Ford) has recently announced a crucial safety recall for specific models of Ford Escape, Ford Maverick, and Lincoln Corsair vehicles. The recall aims to address a potential issue that could lead to a vehicle fire, urging affected owners to promptly visit their dealers for necessary repairs and precautions.

The vehicles affected by this recall include those equipped with 2.5L HEV/PHEV engines, manufactured during the specified time frames. The identified problem revolves around the premature failure of these engines, which can have severe consequences. When an engine fails, there is a risk of significant quantities of engine oil and/or fuel vapor being released under the vehicle’s hood. These substances may then migrate to and accumulate near potential ignition sources, posing a potential fire hazard. In addition to the risk of fire, localized melting of components or the emission of smoke may also occur.

The specific models affected by this recall are the 2020-2023 Ford Escape, the 2022-2023 Ford Maverick, and the 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair. Ford has identified isolated engine manufacturing issues as the root cause of the 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures that result in engine block or oil pan breaches. Despite the breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle, allowing the driver to continue operating it. Unfortunately, this means that as the driver continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulate near ignition sources, exacerbating the risk.

Owners of the affected vehicles should be aware of the signs indicating engine failure. These signs include loud noises such as a metal-to-metal clank, which will be audible to the vehicle’s occupants. Additionally, an engine failure will lead to a reduction in engine torque. If drivers notice any unexpected engine noises, experience an unexpected torque reduction, or observe smoke emanating from the engine compartment, they are strongly advised to safely park the vehicle and promptly shut off the engine.

Ford is actively working on developing the remedy for this issue. In the meantime, interim letters have been sent out to notify owners of the safety risk. These letters were mailed on June 23, 2023, to inform owners about the importance of addressing the issue. Once the remedy is available, a second round of letters will be sent out to inform owners and provide instructions for getting the necessary repairs. It’s important to note that this recall, identified by Ford as recall number 23S27, expands and replaces the previous recall number 22V-484. Therefore, even if the vehicles have been previously repaired under recall number 22V-484, owners will still need to have the new remedy completed to ensure their safety.

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.

Ford Motor Company (Ford) has decided that a defect affecting the seat belt warning system could exist in certain 2020-2023 Lincoln Aviator and 2020-2023 Lincoln Corsair vehicles. The vehicles affected are equipped with a Revel Audio System.

The problem was discovered in November 2022 when Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group received complaints pertaining to the seat belt warning chime reminder on a 2022 Lincoln Aviator PHEV.

The seat belt reminder system was tested on various combinations of powertrain and audio systems of Lincoln Aviators in an attempt to reproduce the problem. It was discovered that some Lincoln Aviator PHEV vehicles could experience an initial chime duration of fewer than 4 seconds. An audible signal that is activated for less than 4 seconds can result in decreased safety belt usage, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.

The engineering team and audio supplier conducted a design of experiments to gain a better understanding of the cause and scope of the problem. They found that the problem affected vehicles equipped with the Revel audio system, introduced on the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and Corsair. Further seat belt reminder system evaluations were conducted at Ford assembly plants and it was concluded that 2020-2023 Lincoln Aviator and 2020-2022 Corsair vehicles could experience the symptom of a chime duration of fewer than 4 seconds

According to the defect report, when the driver’s seat belt is not buckled and the vehicle is started, the seat belt warning system may activate the audible warning chime for an insufficient amount of time of fewer than 4 seconds. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for occupant crash protection.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to contact their dealers about updating the audio control module software in their vehicles. Ford’s number for this recall is 22C35 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-953.

Ford Motor Company (Ford) will be contacting the owners of certain 2022 Ford Explorer and 2022 Lincoln Aviator SUVs because the vehicles they are driving may not comply to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for occupant crash protection and fuel system integrity.

Ford first became aware of the problem in April 2022 when one of their assembly plants started experiencing intermittent bolt strip-out conditions when securing the front sub-frame to the front apron assembly. An investigation into engine rail sub-assembly failures found that the mechanical properties of the engine rails did not meet the intended strength requirements. Supplier records showed that over six hundred engine rail sub-assemblies were sent out for an unapproved repair procedure (thermal e-coat stripping) which degraded the mechanical properties and weakened the metal. Some of the suspect rails were used at the Tier 1 supplier and 137 suspect rails were shipped to the assembly plant. A Stop Shipment was issued on April 28, 2022 and an inspection of engine rail hardness was carried out on over 5000 vehicles.

According to the defect report, the vehicles affected were built with an engine rail that may not
maintain its integrity in a crash and as a result, does not meet the Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Occupant Crash Protection and Fuel System Integrity requirements. A weakened engine rail could also become loose, resulting in a clunking noise during acceleration, deceleration, or contact with potholes, speed bumps, or other road surface irregularities.

Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for an engine rail inspection. If the vehicle does not pass the strength test, owners will be given the option of a replacement of the engine rail assembly or, because of the extensive nature of this repair, vehicle replacement or a buyback. Owners opting for repairs will be sent awareness letters and instructed to bring their vehicles in when parts become available. Ford’s number for this recall is 22C13 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-454.

Are you thinking of taking a replacement or buyback? Under the California Lemon Law, if your vehicle qualifies, you should recover your down payment, (including registration fees, licensing fees, taxes, transportation costs, etc.), plus your total monthly lease or loan payments. The manufacturer will also pay off the balance of your loan or lease. The manufacturer will also pay all or most of your attorney’s fees.

If you have any questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 1-888-395-3666 and get some great Lemon Law advice!

The high voltage batteries in certain 2020 Ford Escape and 2021 Lincoln Corsair vehicles may have been manufactured with insufficient welds that could fail and cause a loss of drive power. These vehicles are equipped with 2.5L hybrid powertrains.

Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group first became aware of the problem in February 2022 when they were informed, by the supplier, that there was an issue with the weld penetration on the bus bars of certain high voltage batteries. A review of the manufacturers’ records showed that the suspect cause of the problem was damage to the laser cooling line caused by maintenance of the laser air knife. The damage to the laser cooling line resulted in an out-of-control weld process and insufficient welds. The suspect time period was between June 6, 2020, and June 12, 2020.

According to the safety report, insufficient weld penetration between the bus bar and cell terminal could result in a loss of electrical contact at the bus-bar weld joint inside the high voltage battery. Loss of electrical contact will result in a loss of motive power and an increased risk of an accident.

The vehicle warning display will illuminate a “Stop Safely Now” message, a wrench lamp, and an audible alert when the vehicle loses motive power.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to take their vehicle to their Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the High Voltage Battery replaced. The new High Voltage Battery LX68-10B759-R will have a bus bar that has proper weld penetration. The supplier repaired a damaged coolant line on June 27, 2020. High voltage batteries produced after June 27, 2020 were produced with sufficient bus bar weld penetration. Ford’s number for this recall is 22S33 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-331.

Ford Motor Company (Ford) has decided that a problem affecting vehicle safety exists in certain 2021 Ford Expedition and 2021 Lincoln Navigator SUVs built between December 2020, and April 2021. The vehicles built during this time have an increased risk of under-hood fires.

Ford became aware of the problem in March 2022 after receiving eight reports of under-hood fires. One of the incidents described a melted battery junction box (BJB) on a 2021 Expedition vehicle. Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) opened an investigation into the fires and found that six (6) of the eight (8) fires originated on the passenger side rear engine compartment area, while two (2) had an unclear under-hood origin. Of the eight fire allegations, six occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, and two occurred while driving. Reviewing the incidents, CCRG noted that almost all the vehicles were owned by rental companies.

Ford continues to investigate the cause of the fires, which are believed to originate in the passenger side rear engine compartment area. As of May 12th CCRG is aware of sixteen (16) potentially related reports of under-hood fires on 2021 Expedition and 2021 Navigator vehicles. Of those sixteen (16) reports, fourteen (14) are rental vehicles and two are retail units. Of the sixteen (16) reports, twelve (12) occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, (1) occurred while parked and on, and three (3) occurred while driving. All sixteen (16) vehicles were produced between December 19, 2020, and April 20, 2021. (This period was found to be significant.)

Warning: Owners are advised to park their vehicles outside and away from structures while Ford continues their investigation.

Note: Some customers have reported a burning smell and smoke from the front passenger engine compartment while driving.

Letters notifying owners of the safety risk are expected to be mailed on May 23, 2022. A second letter will be mailed once a fix for the problem is available. Ford’s number for this recall is 22S36 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-346.