A loose bolt in some Ford vehicles’ transmissions could prevent those cars from being parked and, in some cases, cause the vehicles to roll away. On Thursday, Ford announced it would recall 944 F-150 pickups, Mustang, Explorer, Bronco, and Lincoln Aviator SUVs to inspect those transmissions for a loose bolt left inside the transmission or dropped during assembly. Affected vehicles were built between November 2022 and January 2023 at multiple Ford assembly plants.
According to Ford, the defect was spotted by technicians performing quality-control checks who couldn’t account for all the bolts needed for the transmission. The bolts may have been dropped or inadvertently left inside the transmission, causing the failure. Two 2023 Ford Broncos rolled forward in the vehicle assembly plant parking lot last month and were found with extra bolts in their transmissions. Ford said it’s unaware of any injuries related to the defect and said one warranty claim was made involving the defect. A spokesperson for Ford said roughly 600 vehicles have not yet been sold and will be fixed at dealers’ lots.
The recall comes at a sensitive time for Ford as CEO Jim Farley has said that quality would be one of the automaker’s top priorities going forward. Ford’s longtime quality chief announced his retirement last year, and Farley said in May that “we are not satisfied at all with our quality performance, including our recalls and customer satisfaction efforts, which we need to quickly accelerate.” Since then, Ford has recalled several hundred thousand vehicles for defective rearview cameras and recently paused production of its F-150 Lightning after one vehicle burst into flames.
Ford will begin notifying affected owners at the end of this month and asking them to bring their cars into a nearby dealership to be inspected and fixed for free. To see if your vehicle is affected, go to NHTSA.gov.
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