February 13, 2019 / 2:33 PM / 4 days ago

Ford recalls 1.48 million F-150 pickups in North America over transmissions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it was recalling about 1.48 million F-150 pickup trucks in North America due to a potential transmission downshift issue that could increase the risk of a crash.

FILE PHOTO: A row of new Ford F-150 pickup trucks are parked for sale at a Ford dealer in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, Colorado, U.S., April 14, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Ford said select 2011-2013 model year trucks with six-speed automatic transmission could experience an unintended downshift into first gear without warning, which could result in the loss of vehicle control. Ford is aware of five accidents, including one report of whiplash potentially related to the issue.

The recall covers 1.26 million trucks in the United States and 221,000 in Canada. Dealers will update the powertrain control software and the company will notify customers next month.

In March 2016, Ford recalled 153,000 U.S. 2011-2012 Ford F-150, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles for a similar transmission downshift problem. Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley said the root cause was different than in the new recall.

In December 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into whether that recall should be expanded by nearly 1.4 million 2011-2013 vehicles after 123 complaints and two crashes but no reported injuries.

The agency said an unexpected downshift “can cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly and without warning. This can also cause the rear tires to skid or lock up, increasing the risk of a crash.”

The investigation is pending.

Ford also said it is issuing two other recalls. One covers 28,200 2017-19 Lincoln Continental vehicles in North America for door latches that may not engage due to the buildup of silicon contamination and could result in the door opening while driving.

Ford said it was not aware of any reports of accidents or injuries. Dealers will replace the door latch assemblies in all four doors.

Ford is also recalling 4,200 2019 model Ford Mustang, Lincoln Nautilus and Lincoln Navigator vehicles for instrument panel cluster assemblies that are blank when the vehicles are started. Dealers will update the software. No crashes are reported linked to the recall.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Ben Klayman; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe

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