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Ford Recalls Maverick, F-Series Trucks, Large SUVs Over TBC Software Issue

Ford and pickups go a long way back. The Ford Motor Company also dominates truck sales with the F-Series, but nevertheless, mistakes can happen during research & development or on the production line. On this occasion, the blame falls on Plymouth-based supplier Horizon Global.
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Horizon’s mistake affects 391,836 units of the Maverick unibody pickup, F-150, the F-250 through F-550 Super Duty, Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator. As fate would have it, a software error may render the trailer’s brakes inoperative, increasing the braking distance and the risk of a crash.

The Critical Concern Review Group recognized this problem in September 2021 when the automaker opened an investigation into multiple reports of intermittent trailer brake controller function. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also contacted Ford regarding three vehicle owner questionnaires alleging improper trailer brake controller function.

FoMoCo obtained a handful of complaint vehicles but couldn’t find anomalies or duplicate the issue presented by the customers. From January through February 2022, efforts were undertaken with the supplier to duplicate the concern of an exemplar unit. It’s during this period that Transport Canada notified Ford over inoperative trailer brakes on F-150 vehicles. Better late than never, the supplier told the manufacturer that they experienced an improperly functioning TBC while driving a Super Duty truck.

As per documents filed with the federal watchdog, “diagnostics identified a potential vulnerability between two instructions within the software where the processing does not complete as intended.” This error results in the TBC brake output signal not being properly sent to the trailer while driving.

Come February 21st, the Ford Motor Company identified a grand total of 67 reports of improper trailer brake controller function. The first report occurred in April 2021. Ford Motor Company’s Field Review Committee approved the recall on March 18th, and thankfully for everyone, Ford isn’t aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this badly-written software.

Updated software was implemented at the automaker’s plants in February, yet FoMoCo still has to reflash 391,836 vehicles at no charge to the customers. Notification letters are expected to be mailed on April 18th.

Editor's note: 2022 Ford Maverick for Brazil pictured in the gallery.

 Download: Ford TBC software recall (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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