Automakers issue recalls rather regularly, but it's a rare occasion when an automaker issues a slew of 'em simultaneously. That's the case this week, as Ford has issued five separate recalls, covering a wide variety of vehicles, numbering some 300,000 in total.
There's no singular issue that ties these five recalls together. It's just a "happy" coincidence that all these issues were discovered at about the same time, and it makes sense to issue one big press release instead of separating them out over an entire week.
Thankfully, most of these issues were caught before anyone was hurt. Across all five recalls, Ford is aware of just four accidents and a single injury.
Recall the first: First-gear downshifts
The first recall, and also the largest, covers approximately 202,000 units of the 2011-2012 Ford F-150 and the 2012 Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang and Lincoln Navigator. Yes, Ford's ubiquitous pony car did end up in the middle of an otherwise truck-based recall.
The issue stems from a transmission output speed sensor. According to Ford, certain conditions can cause the transmission to force a downshift into first gear. If that happens at the wrong time, it might cause the vehicle's rear tires to slide or lock up as it drops its speed.
Ford will update the powertrain control module software and offer a one-time replacement of the transmission lead frame to remedy the issue.
Recall the second: SUV suspension
The next recall affects 81,000 examples of the 2014-2015 Ford Explorer and Ford Police Interceptor Utility, which is based on the Explorer. 75,364 of these vehicles are based in the US, with the rest living in Canada and Mexico.
Here, the problem relates to the vehicles' suspension components. Poor-quality welds can lead to rear suspension toe links that may fracture. Best-case scenario, the broken toe links make some annoying noises. Worst-case scenario, the driver can lose control of the vehicle.
The fix involves replacing both right- and left-rear toe links, as well as realigning the rear suspension.
Recall the third: Truck tires
The recalls are getting much smaller from here on out. This one covers 2,600 vehicles, all of which are 2016 F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks. 2,288 are in the US, with the rest in Canada and Mexico.
This one was issued due to tires that may have been damaged during the assembly process. A conveyor may have caused some sidewall damage to the tires in question, which compromises the tire's structure and could lead to rapid deflation and a loss of vehicle control.
Ford will inspect affected tires for sidewall damage and replace them as necessary. Not every tire was damaged, so not every tire will be replaced.
Recall the fourth: Airbags, yet again
Ford's fourth recall of the day involves just 199 examples of the 2007-2012 Ford Flex, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS and Mercury Sable. You know you're talking about old cars when the Mercury Sable is involved.
This time around, Ford's dealing with some pesky airbag modules. The parts in question might be missing a chemical for second-stage deployment. In the event of an accident that requires a second-stage deployment, that missing chemical might cause the airbag to fail to do its job. Ford is quick to note that this has nothing to do with the Takata debacle.
Replacing the airbag module is all it takes to fix this one. One assumes that replacement will contain the missing chemical.
Recall the fifth: Seat tracks
Finally, Ford is issuing a recall that covers 39 2016 Ford Fusion sedans, all of which were built in Ford's Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico.
Bad welding is once again the culprit. An improperly welded seat mounting bracket attachment to the seat track rail reduces the seat track's strength. And if there's one thing you don't want in a collision, it's your seat track coming detached.
As with the airbag recall, a simple seat track assembly replacement is all Ford needs to remedy this issue.