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Car and Driver: Ford Recalls 262,000 Vehicles for Transmission, Suspension, Other Issues


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2012 Ford F-150


Ford is recalling 261,890 vehicles in the U.S. for a spate of problems including transmission, suspension, and tire defects, the company said Wednesday.



The largest recall involves 184,000 models of the 2011-2012 Ford F-150, along with the 2012 Expedition, Mustang, and Lincoln Navigator. Output-speed sensors on the 6R80 automatic transmission’s lead frame—the metal connectors joined to a circuit board controlling the transmission—may suddenly force a downshift into first gear. That could cause the rear tires to slide or lock up. The company knows of at least three related accidents but no injuries. Only vehicles equipped with this six-speed automatic are affected. Dealers will update the powertrain control module software and replace the lead frame if the module throws out trouble codes. Ford will also warranty the lead frame for 10 years or 150,000 miles from its installation date and provide one replacement if it fails again.


The 2014-2015 Explorer has rear-suspension toe links that may not be welded properly and can break. Ford said it knows of at least one accident and one injury related to this problem. Dealers will replace both toe links and align the suspension. Police Interceptor models are also included for a total of 75,364 cars.


During the assembly of certain F-series Super Duty trucks (F-250 and above), a conveyor may have damaged the tire sidewalls, which could rupture while driving. Dealers will inspect the tires for sidewall damage and replace them if needed on 2288 trucks. So far, there have been no reported accidents or injuries.


2008 Mercury Sable


Ford will replace the driver’s-side frontal airbags on 199 older sedans and SUVs, including the 2007-2012 Ford Flex, Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and Mercury Sable. A “chemical enhancer” required to deploy the airbag in the second stage—a higher force required in more severe accidents—may be missing entirely. The first stage of deployment won’t be affected, and while the airbag will still deploy, it may not offer enough protection when needed. Ford does not know of any accidents or injuries. Dealers will replace the airbag, which is not related to the Takata recall, on 199 cars.


Finally, there are 39 brand-new 2016 Fusion sedans with weak driver’s-seat mounting brackets that were “improperly welded.” Dealers will replace the entire driver’s-seat track assembly. Again, Ford said it does not know of any related accidents or injuries. Repair dates for all of these recalls have not been announced.


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