By: Brett Shainfeld
Owning a Ford truck is about as American as apple pie. Ford Motor company, the Michigan-based automobile manufacturer, has been a staple of the American economy since it was incorporated in 1903. Founded by legendary automobile tycoon, Henry Ford, the company has produced hundreds of millions of automobiles in the one hundred plus years it has operated, serving as the second-largest American-based automaker (behind General Motors) and the fifth-largest manufacturer in the world.
One of the marquee products in Ford’s lineup for decades, the F-Series symbolizes everything one could ask for in an American pickup truck. First created in 1948, the F-Series has been the best-selling pickup truck in the United States since the mid-1970s, as well as the best selling vehicle in all of North America since 1986. The F-Series brand itself generates over forty billion dollars per year, a higher value than other American staples like Coca-Cola and Nike.
These commercial vehicles have long been popular for their multiple levels of efficiency, serving as both passenger vehicles as well as utility trucks with light- to medium-duty ratings. Furthermore, the F-Series, now in its thirteenth generation, has been renowned for its safety and durability, with the brand latching onto the “Built Ford Tough” slogan to exemplify the truck’s perception as a vehicle that will survive the elements and a hard day’s work.
All of this is to say that when consumers purchase a brand new Ford F-Series truck, they expect it to last. With a hefty price tag associated with the buying of a brand new American truck, that’s an understandable stance. But what do you do when the least expected happens? When you’re cruising in your brand new Ford F-150 and all of a sudden a warning light pops on the dashboard? Or you notice that the truck isn’t driving as it should? Or something even worse?
For some owners of 2019-2020 Ford F-150’s, they may be experiencing just such a scenario. Ford Motor Company announced this November that they are issuing a recall for certain 2019-2020 Ford F-150 pickup trucks for issues relating to an “improperly secured” component. The results of this component issue are wide-ranging, from interfering with steering assist, all the way to causing the engine to catch fire.
The recall on Ford F-150s isn’t the only one issued by Ford at the moment. The manufacturer further issued recalls for 2018-2019 Ford Super Duty’s, as well as 2016-2017 Lincoln MKX vehicles. The three recalls span multiple issues, which we’ll go into as we look at each recall individually.
The 2019-2020 F-150 Recall
The recall notice associated with the 2019-2020 Ford F-150 truck is estimated to affect 135,725 vehicles in the United States, 30,073 in Canada, and 2,257 trucks in Mexico. The specific models affected are those built-in Dearborn, Michigan, at their truck plant between the dates of July 15th and October 1st, 2019, as well as those built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant between June 24th and October 19th, 2019.
The nature of the recall stems from what the company is referring to as an “improperly secured positive battery-terminal fastener”. The loose attachment could result in an “intermittent or inoperative vehicle systems, affecting instrument panel displays, braking or steering assist, or causing the engine to stall. This condition could also create a resistive short, increasing the potential for smoke, melting, or risk of fire,” the company disclosed in a statement.
To this date, Ford has not heard of any accident reports or injuries stemming from the issue. The issue could cause loose steering assistance, braking errors, faulty instrument panel displays or cause the engine to stall out or catch on fire. The company will begin notifying vehicle owners of the recall soon.
The 2016-2017 Lincoln MKX Recall
Ford has further issued a recall in relation to around 59,664 MKX vehicles with 3.7-liter engines. As Ford has stated about the problem, “The battery harness may have substandard clearance, which could allow the harness to contact the transmission shifter cable bracket.” The problem could then result in serious consequences, with Ford Motors adding, “Contact between the battle cable harness and the transmission shifter cable bracket could wear through the insulation of the cable, resulting in the cable shorting to ground, increasing the risk of overheated or melted wiring, as well as fire.”
At this time, Ford has not been made aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recall issue. Vehicle owners possibly affected by the problem are those with vehicles constructed at the Oakville Assembly Plant between the dates of November 12th, 2014, and September 11th, 2017. The breakdown of Lincoln MKX vehicles affected is 54,411 in the United States and 5,253 in Canada.
The 2018-2019 Ford Super Duty
Finally, the third recall to note from Ford Motors was issued in relation to 2018-2019 Ford Super Duty vehicles. For this notice, Ford has stated that it is a “safety compliance recall”, affecting just over one-hundred thousand Super Duty trucks with LED headlamps that are in violation of federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Ford Motors Co. has stated, “Affected vehicles are equipped with high-series daytime running lamps controlled by an incorrectly configured body control module.” They then add in their statement, “When the daytime running lamps are illuminated and the master lighting switch is moved to the low-beam position, the daytime running lamps do not revert to parking lamp intensity as required by federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
As with the other recalls, the company is unaware of accidents or injuries related to the issue at hand. The vehicles affected are 2018 Super Duty trucks built at the Kentucky Truck Plant from May 1st, 2017 to July 13th, 2018, as well as 2019 Super Duty trucks constructed from March 5th, 2018, to October 8th, 2019. 86,296 Super Duty trucks in the United States and 14,079 vehicles in Canada are suspected to be affected by the recall.
What Should You Do?
If you’re an owner of one of the aforementioned vehicles, it’s in your best interest to reach out to your local dealership and schedule an appointment to have your vehicle inspected and ensure that the recall problem is corrected before heading back out on the road. There’s no need to wait for a notice to arrive in the mail, and the dealership should handle the repair at no cost to the consumer. This will have you back safely in your vehicle, knowing that you can reliably travel from place to place without worry.
If you’re the owner of a Ford F-150, Super Duty, or Lincoln MKX, and you believe that you’ve been in an accident or suffered an injury due to one of the aforementioned issues that have resulted in recalls being issued, understand that you may be entitled to compensation in a court of law. The attorneys here at Shainfeld Law Office have decades of experience in consumer protection and automotive law. We’re happy to work with you to figure out whether your case is worth pursuing, and if so, what options you have at your disposal moving forward. We understand the difficulties of trying to get by without a vehicle and the toll that injuries and medical debt can burden victims with; we’ll do everything in our legal power to get you back on the road and receiving the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (310) 295-1888.