Ford F-150 Trucks That Can Downshift Into First Gear Unexpectedly While in Movement Recalled

nearly 1.3 million trucks with automatic transmissions are affected by this software problem

Ford F-150 Trucks That Can Downshift Into First Gear Unexpectedly While in Movement Recalled
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February 21, 2019

Ford is recalling 2011-2013 F-150 vehicles equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The vehicles may experience an intermittent loss of the Transmission Output Speed Sensor (OSS) signal to the Powertrain Control Module, resulting in a sudden unintended downshift into first gear while the vehicle is in motion. A sudden downshift without warning can result in a loss of vehicle control and crash.

What's the problem?

The recall stems from an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) from December 2017. In March of 2016 Ford Motor Company launched safety recall 16V-248 to address unexpected transmission downshifts to 1st gear occurring on certain model year 2011-2012 Ford F-150, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and Ford Mustang vehicles. Ford recalled vehicles built between certain production dates to address this defect. 

ODI received 123 reports concerning the automatic transmission unexpectedly downshifting into a lower gear without input since the launch of 16V-248 on model year 2011-2013 Ford F-150, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles. Many reports claim the vehicle was not covered under 16V-248 despite having the same symptoms. Additionally, some reports indicate that the remedy was not effective. ODI has received 2 reports of crashes and no injuries.

No attributable pattern was identified for the reports. Ford developed a software remedy to address customer concerns and to prevent a downshift into first gear. The software will also illuminate the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) in the event of an intermittent OSS signal, alerting the operator to a problem in need of repair.

What happens next?

The dealers will reprogram the Powertrain Control Module with software that will prevent an unintended downshift into first gear and illuminate the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) in the event of an intermittent OSS signal. There will be no charge for this service.

The recall is expected to begin March 4, 2019. Ford is excluding reimbursement for costs because the original warranty program would provide for a free repair for this concern.

Owners may contact Ford customer service at (866) 436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 19S07.