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Latest Ford Backup Camera Recall Is Similar To One Last Year

If you look closely at Ford's latest SUV recall you will see that it is very similar to a major, 600,000 vehicle recall from 2020. In this case, just roll the calendar forward one year and there you go.

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Sometimes you have to wonder about certain recalls. For example, last year (2020), Ford recalled more than 600,000 vehicles to repair the circuit board module in faulty backup cameras. And, now the automaker is pulling back another 38,000 SUVs for apparently the same problem.

Ford has also had one of its strongest-selling 2021 vehicles recalled, the Mustang Mach-E. I discussed the recall of the Mustang Mach-E here.

2nd Recall For Similar – If Not Same – Issue

In the 2020 recall, Ford recalled the 600,000 vehicles because the backup camera modules could either have blanked out or they might have had distorted images. The issue affected the backup safety system, which could have left drivers unable to see obstacles in the rear. Meanwhile, the ongoing Takata front airbag inflator recall that has gone on for the last several years continues to wreck its havoc on automakers like Ford and others.

It's funny, but we could have used the same release from last fall on this issue. The issue is that the 38,000 SUVs are the products of 2020-21 and not earlier. Torque News was the earliest media site to call out Ford on the camera issue, and it is now the only media site we know of that has called it out again with the new recall.

Specifically, the recall is for a reversing camera module that may be intermittent. An intermittent is perhaps the most frustrating issue in electronics as it may not show up for a long time, and then, bang, it's there. Suddenly, it will likely leave again and show up again – and likely will.

Ford notes that the problem caused by this issue is that it could result in a loss of a rearview camera image when the vehicle is in Reverse. It means there are two issues: 1. The cameras are trouble-prone; and 2. The cameras do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and require a fix by Ford.

Ford Unaware Of Any Crashes, Injuries

In a news release Friday, the automaker is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue. This action affects 34,975 vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories, 3,053 in Canada, and 379 in Mexico. The affected vehicles rolled off the assembly line at Chicago Assembly Plant between Oct. 19, 2018, to Dec. 7, 2020.

Dealers will begin notifying customers on May 19. To fix the problem, dealers will update the image processing module software. Ford's reference number for the recall is 21C09.

As noted, this isn't the first recall in the last year or so regarding Ford vehicles that Torque News reported on the issue. Last fall, the manufacturer recalled 600,000 vehicles due to a similar – if not the same – issue. Ford recalled those vehicles because their backup cameras could either have gone blank or show distorted imaging. It could cause safety systems tied to the video modules to fail to see people or obstacles behind them. And, Ford has had other major recalls as detailed by my colleague Jimmy Dinsmore.

The Earlier Major Recall

In the earlier major recall, the vehicles that were involved included:

  • Ford F-150 trucks built between Oct. 26, 2019, and May 18, 2020
  • Ford Explorer SUVs built between Nov. 16, 2019, and May 18, 2020
  • Ford Mustang coupes and convertibles built between Nov. 18, 2019, and May 26, 2020
  • Ford Expedition SUVs built between Oct. 30, 2019, and June 22, 202Ford Escape SUVs built between Nov. 5, 2019, and May 18, 2020
  • Ford Ranger trucks built between Dec. 9, 2019, and May 19, 2020
  • Ford Edge SUVs built between Nov. 13, 2019, and May 26, 2020
  • Ford Transit vans built between Oct. 28, 2019, and May 20, 2020
  • Ford Super Duty trucks built between Oct. 30, 2019, and May 18, 2020
  • Lincoln Corsair SUVs built between Nov. 14, 2019, and May 18, 2020
  • Lincoln MKX and Nautilus SUVs built between Nov. 21, 2019, and May 26, 2020

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 too 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 venues including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.

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Betty weckmann (not verified)    September 17, 2021 - 3:10PM

I have a 2016 with backup camera issues. Ford dealer replaced it once at our expense and it acted up again right after and they want us to pay again

Kristina Laingen (not verified)    January 28, 2023 - 9:05PM

In reply to by Betty weckmann (not verified)

I also have a 2016 expedition with the same issues. I bought it in 2021, camera had issues, dealer (Chevy dealership, probably selling a Ford from a trade-in) was supposed to fix it. It still had the same issues. I paid $150 to have it looked at, was told i needed a new one (additional $700) and was put on a wait list. It worked for 4 weeks and started having the same intermittent distortion problems, sometimes not working at all. I had it looked at again, was told the same thing, similar cost, at a different dealership, still on a wait list for a new part. Now it's been working for 4 months and I'm just wondering how long it will last until I'm once again without this safety feature.

DAN WEDEL (not verified)    September 20, 2021 - 4:37PM

IF this IS a safety issue how can someone (ME) get my daughters car,,2013 fusion (screen states camera not available),,and my wifes2013 taurus backup camera screen is upside down if showing at all..get ford to handle this ...For a company that touts not taking a bailout, Ford is sure counting on the American public to put our loved ones safety at risk to bail them out,,they will be responseable for billions as soon as someones child gets backed over because "my camera wasnt working" laywers will have a field day,,Ford ,,here is your public notice you have been warned your cars equipped with these faulty devices are unsafe to operate

Rickshonda Bridges (not verified)    October 3, 2021 - 7:37AM

Hello,I hope all is well.Im contacting you because I just got my 2014 ford explorer sport in June 2021 and my backup camera stop working.

2015 Flex Owner (not verified)    October 5, 2021 - 6:14PM

2015 Ford Flex, with a backup camera that recently started failing intermittently. Sometimes there's an error message like "The camera module is not working. Contact your Ford dealer". Sometimes I get a black screen with no message.
And sometimes the display remains on whatever it was showing before shifting into reverse. This makes me think the issue is that the head unit not getting the message that the transmission is in reverse.

Robert bennett (not verified)    December 2, 2021 - 1:44PM

2015 Ford fusion with backup camera shows picture distorted with black background. Camera was replaced twice. Very intermittent problem, will be out for a day or two. Ford motor company was contacted and said to follow pinpoint test in repair manual. If no problems found replace camera. Well of course no problem found because camera was working at the time!

Robert bennett (not verified)    December 2, 2021 - 1:52PM

2015 Ford Fusion backup camera intermittent goes distorted with black background. Was at dealership to replace camera twice. Ford was contacted and dealer was told to follow pinpoint tests in workshop manual. If no problems found, replace camera. Well of course no problem found because camera worked at the time!

Otis A Felder (not verified)    January 20, 2022 - 5:31AM

2014 explorer Ford rear camera work intermitten, now no work at all. Ford quoted me 1200 dollars to repair. Guess I will go old fashion way. Have not been able to have competitor to fix.

Vitaliy Vlasyuk (not verified)    March 27, 2023 - 12:16AM

Having the same issue on a 2016 Lincoln mkz, and 2015 Ford Taurus, and now of several other Taurus's with years between 13-18 having same camera issues, the Taurus's get error message saying camera not available, contact dealer, or just a blank black screen, or just won't change from normal screen when put in reverse, the Lincoln mkz will lose the guidelines on the screen and then the camera will turn on and off as if it's trying to reset itself the whole time you're trying to back up, sometimes the image will be reversed, getting very annoying to say the least.

Mary Daigle (not verified)    May 18, 2023 - 12:39PM

I have a 2015 Ford Expedition. The back up camera won’t come on & it tells me to check with Ford dealership. I called & they said it will be $187.00 just to bring it in. That’s not the price of the repairs.

Robert Mcgrauth (not verified)    June 2, 2023 - 1:07AM

I have a 2015 Ford flex the back up camera works sometimes then goes off then comes back on then goes off. Says the dealer needs to fix now I’m seeing all these post about other back up cameras I’m wondering if it’s the same thing for the 2015 Ford flexes, any suggestions?

Paul Koester (not verified)    November 7, 2023 - 12:27PM

In reply to by Robert Mcgrauth (not verified)

I have a Ford F150 with the same issue, but mine works when the truck is below 65 degrees, but once the truck is warm, it stops. Has anyone else notice the temperature connection.