Ford has recalled almost 113,000 F-150 pickup trucks for rear axle hub bolts that could fail from fatigue, and cause damage to the rear axles. The automaker is working on a solution, and will service any damaged vehicles until a permanent recall fix is available.
The issue affects 112,965 F-150s produced from model years 2021 through 2023 and equipped with the Trailer Tow Max Duty package, with the 9.75-inch heavy-duty rear axle. On these trucks, the bolt holding the hub to the axle is prone to metal fatigue, and could break on its own. This could allow the axle splines to move around, stripping them from friction. This could potentially immobilize a truck, as it would cause a loss of power to the wheels. It may also allow trucks in Park to move if the parking brake is not engaged.
Ford says there is no risk of this causing a wheel to fall off however, as it says there are four bolts that keep the hub assembly affixed to the brake bracket. Accordingly, Ford says it's unaware of any crashes or injuries stemming from the problem.
Ford opened an investigation into the defect last February, and found most warranty claims are for F-150s produced within an unspecified five-month period. It received 376 warranty reports for broken bolts and stripped splines between January and November 2023. Ford does not yet have a recall fix available, but it advises owners to visit dealers for temporary repairs if they experience any symptoms of breakage. Those are said to include clicking or rattling noises from the rear axle.
Recall notices will be mailed to owners of potentially affected vehicles starting January 29. The NHTSA encourages owners to enter their VINs in its recall search for advance notice.
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