A new stop-sale order impacts the 2022-2023 Ford F-150, as well as a range of the automaker’s cars.
While production of the electric Ford F-150 Lightning is currently at a halt due to an unknown battery issue, a new problem is also impacting the gas-powered trucks as well. Recently published documents with the NHTSA and a memo sent to dealers outline an issue specifically affecting 2022-2023 model year F-150 trucks with a certain batch of 10R80 10-speed automatic transmissions. The issue also affects automatic-equipped Broncos, Explorers, Mustangs and the Lincoln Aviator SUV.
As folks over at Bronco6G forums noticed, an “extra” loose bolt can make its way into the parking pawl, a metal piece responsible for holding the vehicle in place when the transmission is in “Park”. Even with the gear selector in the correct position, an inoperable parking pawl would still allow affected vehicles to roll away if the parking brake is not also engaged.
According to a safety recall report, the issue only affects 944 vehicles in total, including 297 F-150 pickups. Of those, Ford estimates 3% actually have an issue with a loose bolt that could disable the parking pawl. However, a stop-sale notice sent to dealers suggests the Blue Oval is mostly concerned with unsold vehicles currently in dealer inventory.
Under its “service action advisement”, Ford tells dealers, “DO NOT DEMONSTRATE OR DELIVER any new in-stock vehicles involved in this safety recall. A complete Dealer Bulletin will be provided to dealers in the second quarter of 2023, when it is anticipated that parts ordering information and repair instructions will be available to support this safety recall.”
Ford says affected F-150s from the Dearborn plant were built between November 9, 2022 and January 13, 2023. Trucks from the Kansas City plant were built between November 18, 2022 and January 12, 2023. Furthermore, the recall does not affect vehicles in VIN order, meaning you should double check whether your truck is affected through Ford’s VIN lookup tool or the NHTSA’s recall website. Alternatively, you can call your local Ford dealer or the company’s toll-free line at (866)-436-7332 for more information. Ford’s recall number for this campaign is 23S06.
Some further background on this recall
The automaker notes it is aware of one warranty claim for a 2022 Explorer with 29 miles on the odometer, on December 30, 2022. On January 13, it investigated two 2023 model year Broncos at the vehicle assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan. According to the report, assembly plant workers noted the two vehicles rolled forward with the gear selector in the “Park” position two days earlier.
Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) inspected the Broncos’ transmissions and discovered an “extra” bolt inside each transmission. In the Explorer’s case, the dealer again found an extra bolt inside the transmission. The automaker says it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the condition.
During Ford’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Jim Farley emphasized the company’s recent, widespread quality issues.
How Ford will remedy the problem
The company will notify impacted owners with 10-speed automatic-equipped vehicles built between the dates above in early March. While Ford will not have a full remedy for affected vehicles in dealer inventory for several weeks (if not months), its near-term fix for owners is to inspect and/or replace the transmission entirely.
As you’d rightfully expect, Ford notes that new transmissions “are manufactured without loose bolts inside the transmission.”
At the moment, it’s unlikely you’re actively driving an F-150 with this problem — again, Ford says it only impacts 297 customer units. However, if you’re looking to buy an F-150 at the moment, your dealer is barred under federal law from selling it to you. As the company states to dealers:
“Federal law requires dealers to complete this recall service before a new vehicle is delivered to
the buyer or lessee. Violation of this requirement by a dealer could result in a civil penalty of
up to $26,315 per vehicle. Correct all vehicles in your new vehicle inventory prior to delivery.”