It has been a rough week for Ford products. First, the automaker had to tell dealers to stop selling its super-popular electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, until the vehicles had been fixed. And, then the carmaker had to issue a recall for nearly 2.9 million vehicles for a problem with the shifter.
Mach-Es Recalled For High-Voltage Events
This story will focus on the recall of the popular Mustang Mach-E, Ford's first fully electric automobile. According to Yahoo Autos, the automaker issued the recall due to repeated high-voltage events.
Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a filing shared with Road & Track and Yahoo Autos that on "affected vehicles, Direct Current ('DC') fast-charging and repeated wide-open-pedal events can cause the high-voltage battery main contractors to overheat."
The overheating "may lead to arcing and deformation of the electrical contact surfaces, resulting in a contactor that remains open or a contactor that welds closed. An overheated contactor that opens while driving can result in a loss of motive power, increasing the risk of an accident.
Not Stop-Sale Issue, Ford Says
Though first reported as a stop-sale issue, according to Said Deep, the automaker's head of product communications, no stop-sale order has been issued. Dealers can still sell Mustang Mach-Es, but they cannot be delivered to customers until the problem has been fixed. The fix is a software update that is scheduled for early in July.
Mustang Mach-Es affected by the problem were built between May 27, 2020, and May 24, 2022. And while this potentially covers much of the 100,000 vehicles built so far, the automaker said only 48,924 vehicles might be affected by the update.
According to the filing, Ford plans to release an over-the-air software update for the Secondary On-Board Diagnostic Control Module and Battery Energy Control Module in July. Should owners want to have the dealer do the update, they have that option.
No Word About Affects Of Updates
According to Motor Trend, quoted by Yahoo Autos, Ford has not released information about whether DC Fast-Charging speeds and pedal-to-the-metal straight-line performance will be affected.
This is the fifth recall to affect the Mach-E for both hardware and software issues. However, none of the recalls has affected this many vehicles. Road & Track, as shared by Yahoo Autos, noted that the "largest prior recall was for 'inadequate front windshield bonding' which affected about 18,000 vehicles.
R&T noted that in "recent years, Ford has encountered difficulties in launching important new vehicles. The current-generation Explorer was affected by some quality issues at the beginning of production, while issues with the Bronco's hardtop forced Ford to replace every single one last year. NHTSA also told 2021 F-150 owners … to stop driving their cars because of bad seatbelt webbing."
Improving Quality New CEO’s Goal
Indeed, one of the goals of Jim Farley when he took over as CEO of Ford a couple of years ago, was "improving quality so the automaker wouldn't have to make so many warranty payouts," Yahoo Autos notes that the automaker brought in Josh Halliburton, formerly the VP at J.D. Power, "turn things around."
Summarizing the situation, R&T noted that this "represents a setback for Ford as the Mach-E has been a hit, though the fix being software only means it won't be expensive. Still, it's damaging to the brand's reputation as it aims to become EV leader with the Mach-E and the recently launched F-150 Lighting" pickup.
Photo courtesy Ford Motor Co.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.