NHTSA Investigates Ford Mustang Mach-E Over Complaints Alleging the Loss of Motive Power

On June 10 last year, the Ford Motor Company issued a recall encompassing 48,924 units of the Mustang Mach-E produced for the United States market. Said vehicles may experience overheated battery contactors, a condition that causes the zero-emission sport utility vehicle to lose drive power.
Ford Mustang Mach-E 7 photos
Photo: Ford / edited
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E official pricing reduction2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E official pricing reduction2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E official pricing reduction2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E official pricing reduction2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E official pricing reduction2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E official pricing reduction
The remedy came in the guise of software updates for the SOBDMC (secondary on-board diagnostic control module) and BECM (battery energy control module). Said updates were introduced in series production on May 25 last year. Following this recall, the Ford Motor Company also issued a technical service bulletin to replace the high-voltage battery's junction box. As it happens, the aforementioned remedies didn't really fix the issue.

As per documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Office of Defects Investigation has been made aware of 12 complaints alleging main contactor failure in subject vehicles that had been remedied prior to the reported failures. The complaints are publicly available on the federal watchdog's portal under 12 identification numbers.

11526050 reports that a 13,000-mile Ford Mustang Mach-E powered down within three seconds of flashing a warning light. The owner felt the vehicle was losing power on the exit ramp of the highway. The subject vehicle eventually shifted into park and would not allow the owner to put it into neutral to move it off the busy highway ramp.

11472202 reports losing power while driving on I-5 in California. The owner alleges driving over two hours at 30 percent available power on local roads to a dealership. Two days prior, the Mustang Mach-E in question had both software updates performed. The owner also alleges that Ford revised the high-voltage battery's main contactors, yet refuses to use this part in the Mustang Mach-E unless the electric sport utility vehicle suffers a catastrophic failure.

According to ODI recall query 23-004, an estimated 64,727 examples of the 2021 through 2022 model year Ford Mustang Mach-E may be recalled. The investigation is led by NHTSA engineer Jayson Winick. In addition to the 12 consumer complaints, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of 44 EWR (Early Warning Reporting) field reports. Only time will tell if said recall query will result in a recall.

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford's most affordable electric vehicle at press time. Eligible for up to $3,750 in federal tax credits, the compact-sized crossover is available to configure from $42,995 (excluding the $1,800 destination freight charge).

Manufactured in Mexico rather than the United States, the Mustang Mach-E comes with rear-wheel drive as standard in the case of the Select and Premium trim levels. The better-equipped California Route 1 and GT are dual-motor affairs, with the performance-oriented GT carrying a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $59,995.

The Mustang Mach-E sold 14,040 examples in the first half of 2023 in the United States, down from 17,675 in the first half of 2022. Its biggest rivals are the Volkswagen ID.4 ($38,995), Hyundai Ioniq 5 ($41,450), Kia EV6 ($42,600), and Tesla Model Y ($47,740).
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 Download: Ford Mustang Mach-E NHTSA ODI recall query 23-004 (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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