Ford recalls 30,000 new F-150 pickups for three issues

The carmaker also recalled an estimated 70,000 Transit vans for another, different problem.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
3 min read

Ford loves issuing a batch of recalls all at once, perhaps to soften the blow and prevent its name from occupying the news cycle for an entire week. Either way, the automaker's back at it with four new recalls.

Three of the recalls focus on Ford's latest and greatest truck, the 2018 F-150. There's no underlying cause linking all three recalls together -- in fact, each recall affects a different variant of the F-150. The fourth recall is entirely unrelated to the F-150, instead focusing on the Transit cargo van. Let's take a look at all four.

Recall the first: Unintended movement

The first recall covers approximately 15,000 examples of the 2018 F-150 pickup. All the trucks covered in this recall sport the 3.3-liter V6 with six-speed automatic transmissions and a column-mounted shift lever.

The problem stems from the transmission itself. Rapid movement of the shifter from Park to Drive may cause the instrument cluster to freak out and no longer display the truck's active gear, and it may also momentarily engage either Reverse or Neutral before going into Drive. Since unintentional movement increases the risk of injury, Ford issued this recall.

In order to remedy the issue, Ford's dealerships will reflash the power train control module in each truck, which should take less than an hour and fix the issue. In the interim, Ford suggests being slower and more deliberate when moving the column shifter from Park to Drive.

2018 Ford F-150
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2018 Ford F-150
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Recall the second: More unintended movement

Ford's second recall involves approximately 15,000 examples of the 2018 F-150, but not the same models from the first recall. This one affects vehicles with 10-speed automatic transmissions.

The transmission is once again the culprit, but in a different way. The pin that attaches the transmission shift linkage to the transmission may back out. If that happens, moving the shift lever isn't going to actually change the transmission's gear, which spells trouble if the truck is in Drive and the driver attempts to put it in Park and leave the vehicle. If the car is turned off when it's not in Park or Neutral, it can't be turned back on.

A reflash alone won't fix this one. Instead, dealers will have to remove the pin in question and replace it with an updated part that won't back out. Before the fix is applied, Ford urges customers and dealers to always make sure the parking brake is applied when parking the truck.

Don't sweat the truck stuff in the 2018 Ford F-150

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Recall the third: Potential engine failure

Ford's third F-150 recalls covers just 30 examples of the 2018 model. These vehicles all carry the 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The engine itself is to blame here. Some 3.5-liter cylinder heads might not have machined holes required to supply oil to camshaft-bearing journals. Oil keeps things moving smoothly, and a lack of oil in this situation can cause the engine to seize, which presents a big ol' safety hazard if it happens while the car is in motion. Besides, nobody wants an engine to fail on a brand-new truck, so that's a bit of a problem, too.

Thankfully, Ford believes no truck under this recall has left a dealership. However, if one did, Ford will arrange transportation to a dealership, where it will swap out the engine for a functional one at no charge.

Watch this: The 2018 Ford F-150 is ready to rumble

Recall the fourth: Water-related corrosion damage

Ford's fourth and final recall of the group affects 73,000 examples of the 2015-2017 Transit cargo van. The vehicles carry build dates between Feb. 3, 2014 and Aug. 2, 2017, and they're all equipped with trailer tow modules.

This time, wiring is to blame. Water might make its way into the aforementioned trailer tow module, which can corrode the wiring and damage its functionality. If that happens, all sorts of things could go wrong -- the turn signals may flash rapidly, the instrument cluster might go dark, the climate controls could stop functioning or the infotainment system could stop working entirely. It can also increase the risk of a fire, even if the vehicle is parked and turned off.

In order to prevent the issue, Ford will add a drainage hole to the driver-side door, and it will also add another fuse in the wiring harness. Until this repair is performed, Ford will instruct owners to park their vehicles outside. If concerns run high, the dealer can also disable the trailer tow module until the final repair is performed. 

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