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A Ford F-150 rolls off the production line at the OEM's Kansas City Aseembly Plant in May 2013. Ford Motor Co.
A Ford F-150 rolls off the production line at the OEM's Kansas City Aseembly Plant in May 2013.

Sudden downshift to first spurs recall of 1.5M F-150 pickups

Nearly 1.5 million Ford F-150 pickups built from 2010 to 2013 are being recalled for a potential problem where the transmission suddenly shifts down into first gear, which could cause loss of control. Five related accidents have occurred, including one that may have caused "whiplash" injuries.

Ford Motor Co. issued the safety recall for certain F-150 trucks with a 6-speed automatic transmission. In a statement, Ford explained that as they're traveling, the affected trucks could experience an intermittent loss of the transmission output speed sensor signal to the powertrain control module, potentially resulting in a temporary, unintended downshift into first gear.

And that could be dangerous. Depending on speed, that improper downshift could force the engine to rev sky-high and put a sudden, huge engine brake on the truck. It could cause the driver to lose control and increase the risk of a crash, the company said. Ford noted it is aware of five accidents caused by the transmission error, including one report of "whiplash" potentially related to this condition.

This action affects about 1.48 million vehicles in North America, including approximately 1.26 million in the U.S. and its territories and about 221,000 in Canada.

Ford said the affected F-150 trucks were built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant between April 28, 2010 and Oct. 28, 2013 and the Kansas City Assembly Plant from May 18, 2010 to Nov. 18, 2013. 

The fix: Dealers will update affected trucks' powertrain control module software to resolve the issue. The Ford reference number for this recall is 19S07.


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