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Feds Probe Ford Over Pickup Transmission Complaints

» Posted April 22, 2024Resources | Share This Post

A federal vehicle safety agency recently launched an investigation into potential transmission problems in Ford pickup trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into complaints that more than 540,000 pickup trucks can abruptly downshift to a lower gear. That increases the risk of crashes, the agency said in public documents.

The investigation comes after the agency received at least 86 complaints about the transmission problem.

“Vehicles unexpectedly downshift to a lower gear without input from the driver, causing the vehicle to abruptly slow down without any warning,” NHTSA said in an investigation document detailing the complaints. The unexpected downshift can also result in rear wheel lock-up and/or skidding, increasing the risk of a crash and/or injury.”

The probe covers certain 2014 F-150 pickup trucks. Ford previously recalled pickups from model years 2011-2013, citing the same problem.

NHTSA said the complaints included at least one report of a crash and two injuries.

“One consumer described that his vehicle experienced an unexpected downshift, causing his vehicle to crash into a concrete barrier and another vehicle, injuring both him and the driver of the other vehicle,” NHTSA said.

Ford Remains King of Recalls

These kinds of safety issues are all too common for Ford drivers. The automaker wears a dubious crown as the most recalled brand in the country.

The company has issued more safety recalls in the U.S. than any other auto manufacturer for three straight years. The 58 recalls announced by Ford last year accounted for about 16% of all recalls nationwide, according to NHTSA. The tally is also about 30% more than the 45 recalls by Chrysler, the second-most called back brand last year.

The trend has continued in 2024, with Ford recently calling back certain Mustang vehicles over fuel line leaks the company said could cause fires. Meanwhile, NHTSA in early April launched an investigation into complaints of engine failure in certain Bronco sport utility vehicles.

Legal Rights for Car Owners, Lessors in California

California car owners and lessors have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law. You do not need to wait for a recall or an investigation to get a defective vehicle fixed.

The lemon law, officially known as the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, forces automakers to perform a full range of repairs on cars while they are under warranty. It also requires the companies to buy back (or replace, in some cases) vehicles that they are unable to or simply decline to fix. 

There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must happen before the buyback or replace requirement kicks in. An experienced lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and take action.

Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney

If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.  

Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney.

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