Ford Recalls 400,000 Transit Vans

Transits built between 2015-2017 may have a defective driveshaft coupling.

Ford

Ford announced a recall of 400,000 Transit vans for a possible driveshaft defect. According to Ford, the flexible driveshaft coupling may deteriorate prematurely and fail, causing the driveshaft to split. No accidents or injuries related to this issue have been reported. 

The current design is now expected to last for 30,000 miles. Vans with less than 30,000 miles will be fine but should have the coupling replaced at 30,000 miles. Vans with more than 30,000 miles should have the coupling replaced immediately, as well as every 30,000 miles thereafter until a more robust coupling is available.

Ford is far from the first manufacturer to use a rubber coupling rather than a universal joint in a driveshaft—BMW has been using them for years. Their lifespan is highly variable depending on how the car has been driven. One forum thread explained that the BMW part's lifespan ranging from over 150,000 miles to as little as 3,000 miles on a car that sees frequent autocross and track use. While it may make sense to use a silent rubber coupling on a luxury sport sedan, it is surprising to see one on a van that will see higher loads and more stress, rather than a more traditional universal joint.

Ford also announced two additional smaller recalls. One of them, possibly missing inboard back seat attachments on 2017 Explorer Police Utility vehicles—this affects only four vehicles. The other, for a defective driver's knee airbag on the 2016 Escape, affects only three vehicles.