Patrick Rall's picture

Ford recalls 2011 F150, 2012 Super Duty for rollaway risk

The folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced a recall of select 2011 and 2012 model year Ford F Series pickups over a concern that the brake shift interlock switch may not be functioning – meaning that the truck can be shifted out of park without depressing the brake pedal thus increasing the chances of a rollaway accident.

The cause for this new Ford F Series recall is that the brake shift interlock switch, which prevents the truck from being shifted out of Park, may not be functioning properly. This means that the driver (or passenger) could unintentionally shift the truck into a drive gear and cause a rollaway situation – obviously increasing the likelihood of an accident while also risking the safety of pedestrians nearby. The actual stated cause for the recall is that “these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #114 – Theft protection”. All vehicles currently sold in the United States with an automatic transmission are fitted with the brake shift interlock switch and while the ruling technically states that it is a theft protection issue, having someone inadvertently bump the truck and unexpectedly put it into reverse certainly poses a safety risk to anyone who might be around the vehicle. This can be especially problematic during the winter, where owners will often start their truck to let it warm up and for those of you who have never seen a truck accidentally get shifted into gear as the driver climbed out – there can be tremendous damage done by a runaway pickup even when it is traveling at low speed.

The new Ford truck transmission recall pertains to select 2011 F150 pickups built between September 9th, 2011 and September 22nd, 2011; as well as some 2012 F250, F350, F450 and F550 trucks built between September 12th, 2011 and September 22nd, 2011 – with 16,091 trucks possibly affected by this problem. If you own a 2011 Ford F150 or a 2012 Ford Super Duty (F250, F350, F450, F550), you can check your build date to see if your truck might be included in the new F Series recall. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can also test for this problem yourself by parking the truck on very level ground, engaging the emergency brake, turning the key to the “on” position and without pushing the brake pedal – see if you can shift the truck out of park. Keep in mind that it is important to do this test without the truck running, on level ground and with the emergency brake engaged as to prevent the truck from rolling away on its own…in just case the truck shifts without the brake pedal being depressed. The other way to check to see if your truck is included in this recall is to call the Ford Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332.

The Ford F Series brake interlock switch recall is expected to begin on or around December 19th, at which point the owners will be contacted and asked to return to their neighborhood Ford dealership – where a technician will inspect the brake interlock switch and make any repairs if needed.

Other Ford News:
In time for 2012 NAIAS, the Motor Trend 2012 Truck of the Year: Ford F-150
New 2013 Ford Fusion app combines marketing with fun
Ford showcasing 100 MPGe Ford Focus Electric and other clean vehicle technology
Ford Racing brings out the 2013 Mustang Cobra Jet racer to PRI
Ford unveils the 2013 Mustang Boss 302SX Concept at PRI
Gotta Have It Green debuts on the 2013 Ford Mustang GT at PRI

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