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Ford Recalls Certain F-150 TBCs Over Software Error

Back on May 5th, the Ford Critical Concern Review Group decided to investigate certain over-the-counter trailer brake controllers fitted to 2021 and 2022 model year F-150 pickup trucks. As it happens, the Dearborn-based automaker couldn’t ignore rising complaints about similar concerns to a recall that we covered at the beginning of April.
Ford F-150 24 photos
Photo: Ford
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To make a long story a little shorter, Ford called back 391,836 workhorses equipped with trail brake controllers that use software from the peeps at Horizon Global. The F-150 was joined by full-size utility vehicles based on the half-ton pickup, as well as the F-250 to F-550 versions of the Super Duty and the Maverick. A software issue may result in failure to provide the trailer brake output signal when the towing vehicle’s brakes are applied.

That said, what seems to be the problem with the over-the-counter trailer brake controllers? For starters, they feature software from Horizon Global as well. The attached report further mentions the potential loss of trailer brake functionality, resulting in extended stopping distance. Considering that such a condition may lead to an extremely serious crash, the Ford Motor Company didn’t really have a choice but to call back 6,383 workhorses.

A separate document notes that only those kits installed prior to March 29th may contain the error in question. Dealers have been informed to review their sales records and to contact any customer to whom a suspect trailer brake controller was sold prior to the aforementioned date. Dealers are to reprogram the trailer brake controller’s module using the Ford Diagnostic and Repair System. Of course, this is done at no charge to the customer.

The F-150s included in this recall are 2021 and 2022 models. Ford also lists three software versions for the trailer brake controller, identified under part numbers ML3Z-19H332-AA, ML3Z-19H332-BA, and ML3Z-19H332-CA. The remedy software bears part number MU5T-19J297-DH, and Ford isn’t aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this problem.
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 Download: Ford F-150 TBC recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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