Ford has issued a new recall the F-150 that affects 552,188 trucks built for the 2014 model year. A problem with a sensor could cause the transmission to suddenly shift into first gear, regardless of speed. A sudden downshift is never good, but at higher speeds, it could lead to a loss of control.

According to recall information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the truck's powertrain control module (PCM) could lose signal with the transmission output shaft speed sensor. If this happens, the transmission could abruptly downshift to first gear. Recall documents don't identify a specific problem for the signal loss, but the fix is straightforward. Ford will update the PCM with new software, which requires a visit to a dealership, as 2014 is well before the age of over-the-air updates.

If you're experiencing some deja vu right now, don't be alarmed. Ford issued a recall for the same problem back in 2019, though it was aimed at 2013 F-150s as well as some Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators. That recall covered 107,857 vehicles, all running the same 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission. The latest recall only includes the F-150.

Ford has been monitoring this issue for some time now. A chronology report says the company launched an investigation in February 2024, eventually reaching out to the NHTSA which provided 86 vehicle owner questionnaires with issues possibly related to the problem. However, subsequent investigations revealed 300 warranty reports with 96 field reports and 124 customer complaints regarding unexpected downshifts. A total of 40 of these allegedly resulted in the rear wheels locking up or a loss of control. Ford is aware of two vehicle owner questionnaires that allege injuries, and one that resulted in an accident.

Owner notification of the recall will begin on July 1, and the software update will be available in the third quarter of 2024. Ford says a warning light on the dash might illuminate before a downshift occurs, and that the number of vehicles impacted is expected to be less than one percent of the recalled trucks. Concerned owners can contact Ford at 866-436-7332 and reference recall number 24S37.

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