Ford Recalls F-150 With Onboard Scales Due to Update That Disables the Reverse Lights

2021 Ford F-150 24 photos
Photo: Ford / edited
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The Ford Motor Company has identified an issue affecting certain F-150 trucks produced for the 2021 model year. Said half-ton pickups are equipped with the available Onboard Scales feature, which – as implied – estimates the weight of the load in the bed. What's the problem with those F-150s? Turns out an over-the-air software update might have disabled both reverse lights.
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by Dearborn's favorite son, the Critical Concern Review Group started looking into this matter back in April 2024, following multiple complaints over inoperative backup lamps. Between January 30, 2024 and April 30, 2024, the second-largest automaker of the Detroit Big Three received seven warranty reports over the described condition.

As per the chronology submitted by FoMoCo, a dealership contacted the Ford technician hotline team in April 2024, reporting that a subject vehicle received the body control module over-the-air software update a week prior to the customer noticing the inoperative reverse lights. The CCRG eventually determined that only vehicles equipped with Onboard Scales are impacted by this bug.

The recall condition stems from an inadvertent change in a body control module parameter configuration that communicates backup lamp configuration status. Although set to 'present' by Ford workers during series production of the F-150 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant and Dearborn Truck Plant, the parameter configuration was changed to 'absent' by the over-the-air update.

Subsequent testing confirmed that backup lamps will not illuminate if the parameter configuration is 'absent.' Ford isn't aware of any reports of accident or worse related to this honest mistake, which – as you might have guessed by now – will be remedied with a body control module software update.

2021 Ford F\-150 Onboard Scales
Photo: Ford
Dealers have already been instructed to deploy said update on June 19, but affected owners will have to wait until July 1 through July 5 to receive notification letters about recall number 24V-443 in NHTSA vernacular or 24S38 in Ford vernacular. Affected trucks were produced for model year 2021 between May 20, 2021 and December 10, 2021.

Because only Ford knows for certain when a given vehicle was produced, owners are better off running the 17-character VIN on the automaker's recall portal. Trucks assembled at the Kansas City and Dearborn plants feature vehicle identification numbers beginning with 1. By comparison, the compact-sized Maverick starts with 3 because it's made in Mexico rather than the United States.

2021 is the first model year of the fourteenth-gen Ford F-150. Rather than a ground-up redesign, this generation is best described as an extensive refresh of the thirteenth. Introduced for 2015, the thirteenth gen is Ford's first aluminum-bodied pickup.

The F-150 is currently listed on Ford's website for the 2024 model year with a starting price of $36,965 for the XL Regular Cab with rear-wheel drive and the 5.0-liter Coyote V8. At the other end of the spectrum, the 720-horsepower Raptor R off-road truck costs more than a hundred grand.
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 Download: 2021 Ford F-150 backup lamps 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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