In a recent development, Ford (F) is issuing a recall affecting nearly 113,000 of its immensely popular F-150 pickup trucks. The reason? A faulty rear axle hub bolt, as disclosed by federal regulators.
The Flawed F-150: What You Need to Know
The recall centres around 112,965 units of the 2021-2023 F-150 vehicles, specifically those equipped with the Trailer Tow Max Duty package and a 9.75-inch heavy-duty axle featuring a 3/4 float axle design.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has highlighted a critical issue – the rear axle hub bolt may fatigue and break. This could lead to significant damage to the axle hub splines, creating a domino effect of potential hazards.
Possible Consequences and Safety Concerns
If the damaged axle hub splines are left unaddressed, there’s a risk of the vehicle rolling away when parked without the parking brake applied. Additionally, it could cause a loss of drive power, heightening the chances of a serious accident.
Ford assures F-150 owners that a solution is in the works, emphasising that a fix is “currently under development.” In the meantime, vehicle owners are urged to visit their nearest dealership if they detect any clicking or rattling noises.
Notification letters to affected owners are expected to be dispatched by January 24, ensuring that those impacted are promptly informed.
History of Recalls and Ford’s Response
This isn’t the first time Ford has faced recall concerns. In July, over 870,000 F-150 pickup trucks were recalled due to unexpected activation of electric parking brakes.
Despite these challenges, Ford’s F-Series trucks maintained their dominance in the market. Robert Kaffl, Ford’s director of U.S. sales, proudly announced that the company sold over 700,000 F-Series trucks in 2023, securing its position as the top-selling truck in the U.S. for the 47th consecutive year.
2024 Outlook: Navigating Changes in the Automotive Landscape
Ford is adapting to an evolving automotive landscape with its focus on growth across gas, hybrid, and electric models in 2024. Mike Levine, director of Ford North America product communications, emphasised Ford’s enduring legacy, stating, “From the Bee Gees to Taylor Swift and the Apple II to Apple iPhone, if change is the only constant in life, then there’s something reassuring that more than half of Americans have grown up only knowing that Ford F-Series is America’s best selling vehicle.”
While the electric F-150 Lightning pickup marked a milestone moment in America’s shift to electric vehicles, Ford announced a cut in planned production for the electric model. The decision comes in response to a slowdown in electric vehicle demand and challenges posed by high prices and interest rates. Ford, however, assures that production adjustments align with customer demand.
Furthermore, the company disclosed a delay in approximately $12 billion in planned electric vehicle investments, including the construction of a new battery plant.
Conclusion: Stay Informed and Stay Safe
As Ford navigates the dynamic automotive industry, F-150 owners are urged to stay informed about the recall and take necessary precautions. Remember, your safety on the road is paramount. Keep an eye out for official notifications and, if needed, promptly visit your local dealership for interim fixes. Ford remains committed to ensuring that every customer has a truck that seamlessly fits into their lifestyle, prioritising both performance and safety.
Q1: Is my F-150 affected by the recall?
A1: If you own a 2021-2023 F-150 with the Trailer Tow Max Duty package and a 9.75-inch heavy-duty axle, it might be impacted. Check your VIN or contact your local dealership for confirmation.
Q2: What’s the potential danger with the rear axle hub bolt defect?
A2: The bolt may fatigue and break, leading to damage to the axle hub splines. This can result in a vehicle rolling away when parked or a loss of drive power, increasing the risk of accidents.
Q3: When will Ford provide a fix for the issue?
A3: Ford has indicated that a solution is “currently under development.” In the meantime, if you hear clicking or rattling noises, visit your dealership for an interim fix.
Q4: How will I be notified about the recall?
A4: Notification letters are expected to be mailed by January 24. Keep an eye on your mailbox, and ensure your contact information with Ford is up to date.
Q5: What if I recently purchased an F-150?
A5: Contact your dealership with your VIN to check if your vehicle is affected. If so, they will guide you through the necessary steps for inspection or repairs.
Q6: Has Ford faced recalls before?
A6: Yes, Ford recalled over 870,000 F-150 trucks in July due to issues with electric parking brakes. The company remains committed to addressing safety concerns promptly.
Q7: How does this recall impact Ford’s future plans?
A7: Despite challenges, Ford continues its focus on growth across gas, hybrid, and electric models in 2024, adapting to changes in the automotive landscape.