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2021 Ford F-150 Transmission May Shift Into Neutral While Driving, Recall Issued

Redesigned for the 2021 model year, the Ford F-Series truck has been recalled over a potentially dangerous problem. As it happens, the diagnostic trouble code for low transmission fluid pressure may falsely activate, causing the 10-speed tranny to shift into neutral while driving.
2021 Ford F-150 24 photos
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On February 4th, the driveline engineering team presented this condition to the safety boffins in Dearborn. The Ford Motor Company identified an increase in transmission fluid pressure low diagnostic trouble codes being set on certain F-150s equipped with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, 3.5-liter EcoBoost, and 5.0-liter Coyote powerplants. When the P0868 code is triggered, the software that governs the transmission shifts it into neutral.

Documents filed with the federal watchdog state that “one of the powertrain diagnostic logic software branches was turned on in error when these vehicles were produced. Under certain conditions, this diagnostic logic could inadvertently activate the Pump Gear Failure Detection logic even though the hardware is functioning properly.” As the half-ton pickup slows to below two miles per hour, the shifter will attempt to engage park. It will automatically engage park when the half-ton pickup truck comes to a halt.

Ford says that transmission function can be restored upon a key-off/key-on cycle, but who are we kidding here? Minding your business on the freeway while the 10R80 unexpectedly shifts into neutral is a very dangerous condition that increases the risk of a crash, especially when there’s traffic.

FoMoCo identified 28 warranty claims and one customer contact center report between October 22nd, 2021 and February 9th, 2022. The company has also reviewed a vehicle owner questionnaire received by the NHTSA concerning this issue. Thankfully for everyone, Ford isn’t aware of any crashes or injuries related to the aforementioned 10R80 transmission condition.

Owner notification is expected to be completed by May 6th. A grand total of 47,084 trucks are called back, trucks produced between July 28th, 2021 and December 20th, 2021. Of course, these pickups will have their powertrain control module software updated per the workshop manual procedures.

 Download: 2021 Ford F-150 transmission recall (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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