Ford Downshift Defect Recall Might Get Bigger
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into whether to reopen and expand a prior Ford recall by more than a million vehicles for unexpected downshifting. According to a report on Autonews.com, the initial recall in 2016 affected more than 153,000 Ford F-150, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and Mustang vehicles from the 2011-2012 model years. A second recall could increase that number to nearly 1.4 million vehicles and expand it to include 2013 model year vehicles.
Complaints About Serious Problems
Since the initial recall in 2016, NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigations has received 123 complaints of select Ford vehicles with automatic transmission slipping unexpectedly into first gear causing the vehicle to suddenly slow down without warning. The unexpected downshift can also cause rear tires to lock up and skid. The defect investigations office said it has gotten reports of two crashes related to this vehicle defect, but no injuries.
Several consumers have alleged that their vehicles were not included in the initial recall in spite of having the same defect. Other reports to the office say attempts to repair the problem in the recalled vehicles have been unsuccessful. Ford officials say they are cooperating with NHTSA with regard to this investigation.
How Recalls Work
A safety recall involving a vehicle or vehicle part can be conducted independently by a manufacturer or ordered by NHTSA. In either case, the manufacturer must file a public report describing the safety-related defect. NHTSA monitors each safety recall to make sure that automakers provide consumers free, safe and effective remedies required under the Safety Act and federal regulations. Manufacturers are obligated to notify vehicle owners about the recalled products. Even if you don’t get a recall notification, if your vehicle is involved in a safety recall, the law requires manufacturers to provide a free remedy.
If you are not quite sure that your vehicle is involved in a recall, you can check by visiting NHTSA’s website at safercar.gov and entering your vehicle identification number or VIN. If you find out that your vehicle has been recalled, contact your dealership to find out when you can bring it in for repairs. Federal law requires that your vehicle is repaired at no cost.
If you are in the market for a used vehicle, be sure to make sure that your recalled vehicle is repaired. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective vehicle, contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.