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Ford recalls 2.9M vehicles for inability to shift into gear, risking crash


Ford Motor Co. is recalling 2.9 million vehicles that may shift into different gears than intended or roll away while parked, the third major recall for the automaker this month. 

The latest recall affects certain 2013-2019 Escape, 2013-2018 C-Max, 2013-2016 Fusion, 2013-2021 Transit Connect and 2015-2018 Edge vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"A damaged or missing bushing may prevent the vehicle from shifting into the intended gear, and cause the vehicle to move in an unexpected direction. Additionally, the vehicle may roll after the driver selects the 'Park' position," the government website says.

Each vehicle model affected is listed separately on the regulatory site, totaling 2,925,968 vehicles. The agency acknowledged the automaker's June 10 report to safety regulators in a letter dated Tuesday.

Ford said in its filing that the company is aware of six reports alleging property damage and four reports alleging injury, related to this concern.

"The transmission may not be in the park position, even though the shifter position indicates that the vehicle was shifted to park. The driver does not receive a warning message or audible chime," Ford wrote in its recall letter to federal regulators.

"Root cause is unknown," the automaker said in the letter. "Based on Ford’s root cause investigation, heat and humidity have the potential to contribute to the hydrological breakdown of the bushing material."

A Ford spokesman declined to provide additional comment Wednesday.

In the filing, Ford said its dealers will replace the under-hood shift bushing and add a protective cap over the shift cable bushing, free of charge. 

Ford said it plans to mail letters June 27 to approximately:

  • 1,726,763 Escape owners
  • 143,220 C-Max owners
  • 439,483, Fusion owners
  • 107,102 Transit Connect owners
  • 509,400 Edge owners

Mustang Mach-E, Expedition woes

Also this week, Ford confirmed recalling 48,924 model year 2021-22 electric Mustang Mach-E vehicles because they could lose power while driving. The 2021 Ford Bronco has also been recalled for "catastrophic" engine failure.

Ford recalled 350,000 SUVs, including about 39,000 for engine fire risk in May.

Customers who own a 2021 Ford Expedition and 2021 Lincoln Navigator revealed last week they're suing for the fire risk that potentially affects 39,013 vehicles and currently has no identifiable fix.

In February 2020, prior to becoming CEO eight months later, Jim Farley said in a public speech that the company had to get control of warranty costs that were taking a huge bite out of profits.

"We know what we need to do," he said. "We need to lower our warranty spending."

John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, said late Wednesday morning during the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference 2022 livestream that Ford must reduce warranty costs as part of its overall financial strategy. He was not asked specifically about the recent recalls, nor did he offer comment on them specifically.

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Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-222-6512or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid. Read more on Ford and sign up for our autos newsletter.