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Another Recall Issued On 2020 Ford F-150 and 2020 Ford Ranger Regarding Transmissions

Ford issues a safety recall on select models of F-150, Ranger and Expedition regarding 10-speed automatic transmission. Many issues over the years have surrounded this transmission including numerous recalls and class action lawsuits.

Today, Ford issued a safety recall on select 2020 vehicles. The recall involves Ford’s controversial 10-speed automatic transmission which has had many complaints and is also involved in a class-action lawsuit that was filed this year and remains unresolved.

According to Ford, this recall includes 2020 Ford Ranger and 2020 F-150 vehicles with 10-speed automatic transmission and 2020 Expedition vehicles with the police package and 10-speed automatic transmission. Units equipped with a rotary gearshift dial are not affected.

In affected vehicles, a clip that locks the gearshift cable to the transmission may not be fully seated. Over time, a partially seated clip may allow the transmission to be in a gear state different from the gearshift position selected by the driver. This could allow the driver to move the shifter to Park and remove the ignition key, without the transmission gear actually being in Park. If the parking brake is not applied in those cases, the vehicle could move unintentionally, increasing the risk of injury or crash.

Ford is not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this condition.

This action affects 55,158 vehicles in the United States and federal territories, 12,090 in Canada and 681 in Mexico.

Affected vehicles include:

• 2020 Ford Ranger vehicles built at Michigan Assembly Plant from Feb. 28 to March 18, 2020
• 2020 Ford F-150 vehicles built at Dearborn Truck Plant from Feb. 18 to March 19, 2020, and Kansas City Assembly Plant from Feb. 21 to March 19, 2020
• 2020 Ford Expedition vehicles built at Kentucky Truck Plant from March 3 to 19, 2020.
Dealers will inspect the shift cable locking clip and properly seat it as needed. The Ford reference number for this recall is 20S18.

2020 Ford F-150 policeOther Issues Regarding 10R80 10-speed automatic
On January 19, 2020 a class-action lawsuit was filed (Orndorff, et al., v. Ford Motor Company) alleging that “Ford knew or should have known about the alleged transmission problems that cause hard shifting, jerking, lunging and hesitation between gears.”

This is all part of many complaints on forums amongst F-150 owners regarding the 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission found in many 13th Generation F-150 vehicles that result in hard shifting and inconsistent performance from this transmission. The latest recall is just more evidence involving the ongoing issue over these transmissions.

Ford has issued a couple different Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) regarding issues with this transmission including TSB 18-2079 and TSB 18-2274.

Other issues have involved the pin that attaches the transmission shift linkage to the transmission may come out, preventing the transmission from responding to movement of the shift lever.

Other Ford F-150 Recalls
I wrote a lot earlier this year about the other class-action lawsuit against Ford, regarding the frozen door lock issue going on with the current generation F-150. Ford has issued safety recalls and “fixes” for this issue, but many owners are left unsatisfied with the repairs and still are having issues.

I wrote last month how some F-150 owners had mounting frustrations over what seemed like a string of recalls and TSBs issued. However, in that story, I determined there really weren’t that many recalls going on at all.

Some of these “issues” involved very minor nuisances like daytime running lights staying on and the brightness involved in those. Plus there was a minor issue with a battery cable as well as an issue with a spare tire.

However, between the frozen door lock (which can cause the door to swing open while the truck is moving) and this harsh-shifting transmission, these are more than nuisances. Consumer confidence is vital for any brand. And as the best-selling vehicle in the country, Ford needs to stay on top of all these issues and work to resolve them.

Ford 10-speed transmission RPM

In their defense, they have been transparent and aggressive in issuing recalls and TSBs. They’re not running from this problem and working to resolve this. And hopefully, as the next-generation F-150 comes in for 2021, the transmission issues will be resolved.

We already know the engines that will be used for the 2021 Ford F-150 and it’s likely the 10-speed transmission will be included.

Be sure to check out the latest story on the surprising uptick in sales for the Ranger thus far in 2020.

Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.


Mike (not verified)    May 9, 2020 - 12:47AM

Nothings a minor issue when its not corrected for an over $50,000 vehicle. There are major problems with the 10 speed transmission. Major problems and its basically why I won't buy an f 150. I simply won't throw my money away on garbage.

Larry Anderson (not verified)    January 15, 2021 - 12:37PM

In reply to by Jimmy Dinsmore

My 2018 f150 left me in between gears crossing highway in front of a semi, plenty of room initially but came down to him laying on horn and brakes. My gassing it trying to get out of traffic did bark tires. 3000 miles on it and they replaced valve body. Trans still hunts for a gear when cold, I hope I can afford to trade when a better trans comes out!

Mike (not verified)    June 22, 2020 - 3:48PM

I have been experiencing similar issues on my 2020 Mustang. Very tough downshifting on the automatic.

JohnIL (not verified)    July 26, 2020 - 10:13AM

I have had issues with my 2018 F-150 with the 10 speed trans. I just believe it simply has too many gears and logic control system that cannot deal properly with driving patterns. I've had Ford update the firmware with little improvement. What I don't understand is the Ecoboost engines should provide plenty of power in a wide power band to not require so many gear ratios? In most case the 10 speed trans skips gears a lot anyway in up-shifts. Not a good pairing if you ask me, and I don't see how this would improve performance or MPG's. Overly complex trans for what little benefit you get. I would hate to experience the problems with the trans as it reaches its senior life. I will be glad to return it when lease is up.

Eugene Bybee (not verified)    September 9, 2020 - 7:54PM

I have a 2019 Ford Lariet pickup that a shifts really bad. Corwin Ford in Springfield, MO says, “They are ‘all like that’”! Not true. My was good for 36000 miles and then started throwing us around like a marble in a 5 gallon bucket. They will not even look at it. Here is what I have learned about Ford. (formerly a Ford guy-11 Mustangs, cars, and lots of PUs) Ford will not fix Or warrant 10 speed transmissions, plastic panels that crack outside on back of SUVs, phasers in 2005 5.4 engines, bad brake rotors with low miles, and they may be sellIng pickups as new that were originally demonstrators!

Jim Weaver (not verified)    October 30, 2020 - 12:28PM

Can you tell me if the 10 speed transmission I now have in my 2020 Ford F150 is still the identical transmission that was used in 2017, 2018 and 2019?

John (not verified)    February 17, 2021 - 9:23PM

In reply to by Jim Weaver (not verified)

Bought my Ford F-150 2020 one month ago first problem with 1500 miles identical to what everybody has been describing bad shifting down shifting when it shouldn't downshift thunk in the rear transaxle I read these comments from other owners and it's like I'm writing them myself when I ditched my 2003 Ford F-150 because of head gasket problems I swore I would never buy another Ford bought a tundra drove it for 200,000 miles and got sucked back into another Ford people in service department tell me oh we don't know of any problems with the transmissions you know I'm tired of being lied to this really sucks!!!!

Kerry (not verified)    May 5, 2021 - 3:07PM

In reply to by John (not verified)

I have a 2019 Ford F-150 and started making a grinding noise and ended up being the torque converter I guess they are saying. I brought it in with the same problem a week ago and they replaced the catalytic converter on the left thinking they solved the problem well it’s still making the noise and I took it back now they say I need that torque converter part and it’s not covered under warranty.. so they say . Can someone on here help me? I’m clueless and don’t want to be ripped off .

Larry (not verified)    July 5, 2021 - 3:48PM

In reply to by John (not verified)

I am experiencing problems with the 10-speed transmission on my 2020 f-l50 lariat with the 5.0 motor. I will be traveling at 55-60 miles-per-hour and it will down shift real hard from 10-speed to 8-speed. I have asked my ford dealer about this problem and he states that it is the new energy saving feature to save gas. I don't buy it and don't know what to do. Anyone have a suggestion. Larry

George A Colbow (not verified)    December 30, 2020 - 7:52PM

My Ford F-150 XLT Sport is equipped with the 10R80 ten speed and the 5.0 V8. It has always had the clanging, banging, harsh up shift and down shift, and sudden drivetrain lockup since new. The truck has been in the shop multiple times and evert TSB issued by Ford has been preformed on the truck to cure the problem. I haven’t seen the truck since I left it in the Ford Service Department in the beginning of December. Now Ford’s Technical Service Department has been involved in finding out what’s wrong with the transmission. I suspect I’ll not see my truck until next year (2021) or Ford will trade me out of it. The Ford/GM developed transmission is going to be another Nader Corvallis (GM) issue for Ford Motor Company.

Jeff (not verified)    September 22, 2021 - 11:03AM

In reply to by George A Colbow (not verified)

Leasing a 2020 STX, same situation with this 10 speed transmission. It bucks shifts rough sometimes doesn't shift at all. I can't believe Ford is saying there's nothing wrong. Is it going to take someone getting killed for them to stop lying. Always have had Fords since 1978. I understand GM has the same transmission in some of their trucks therefore after this lease I am going to dodge thereby somewhat staying American.

Rene Misas (not verified)    February 3, 2021 - 8:07PM

I purchased my F150 FX4 5.0 November 2019. Today it has 8,100 miles. On the way home I kept hearing this clunk in the rear end when I let my foot off the gas and back on. The second thing is, when I put it in "Park" the entire weight of the vehicle needs to be on the gear, or else It will make a loud BANG! from the transmission twisting the drive shaft. Sooner or later it will destroy the U joint or the Ring & Pinion gear. I've been to two Ford stores and I get the same crap... Its normal.. I will NEVER buy another Ford again. It's no wonder that Ford stocks are so low. I'm going to get a tuner and try and see if that helps and who cares if it voids the warranty! Ford doesn't stand behind their product anyway. Buy Toyota Tundra!

WD Hays (not verified)    February 18, 2021 - 10:13PM

If anyone decides that the F-250 with the 10 speed trans. (10R140) and 7.3l gas is to be added to a class action let me know. The cell phone junky service guy says he detected no problem on a ride along and I think these transmissions are just as big of a problem as the on-going troubles with the others (10r80) have been. They are after all nearly the same. I seek a new transmission (verifiable) or a NEW replacement of the whole vehicle. AND, NO, Ford does not want to hear from customers. Furthermore, I think they absolutely HATE their customers.

Robert Conway (not verified)    February 23, 2021 - 10:55AM

I have a 2020 F150 XL V6 with less than 200 kilometres on it and it sometimes downshifts to first gear at speeds of 45kph and once it refused to shift from first gear even though I had accelerated up to 35 kph. Dealer can find nothing wrong. The Ford transmission problems have been going on for so long they are a disgrace and their reputation is deteriorating quickly. It would take an awful lot to convince me to ever buy another Ford.

Donald Rumbaugh (not verified)    February 28, 2021 - 5:39PM

I am a student of capitalism. Consumers want more, faster, cheaper & the business folks do their level best to provide just that. The internet provides hardware/software 24/7 supporting everyone for free. As a businessman, I previously used snail mail, in person meetings, phone calls to connect with my clients and I did a lot less business. The savings has been passed along to the consumer and is never discussed. My Grandfather bought a brand new 1951 Oldsmobile 98 with PS PB & AC. Had some issues at first, but thanks to those folks for putting all that out there for us to use. Ford is trying to give us what we want even if we don't know what we want. Mistakes and re-calls will happen. Just stay tuned and let's see where they take us while we enjoy the ride. I understand frustration. I mean no disrespect.

John Thomas (not verified)    March 6, 2021 - 4:01PM

2019 f150 10 speed shifts like CRAP here too. Bought it new too. I got the standard "they are all like that" BS from the dealer too. Fatiguing to drive as well as embarrassing. NOT a happy customer. I now recommend buying anything but FORD to everyone.

JohnIL (not verified)    March 7, 2021 - 7:31AM

So glad when my lease is up on my 2018 F150 XLT 4X4. Trans has never shifted really well when cold, and sometimes at low speeds would just punt and stay in neutral briefly. Didn't help to have the firmware update either. Not sure why Ford thought we needed all these gear ratios? So much complexity it should have been shelved during pre production. In normal driving trans tends to skip gears a lot of times anyway. With so many turbo engines with good low end torque I don't get the need for more gears? Just seems to be overkill and more problems which ironically is exactly what has happened. Ford couldn't see this coming??

Tim W (not verified)    March 24, 2021 - 3:30PM

2020 F150 5.0 here.. Shifted like crap since new. Clunky, slip shifts, bangs, it was embarassing. I read all about it online and how nobody has had the issues resolved by visiting the dealer, so I decided to save myself the aggravation and ordered a tune from a reputable company.. The tune resolved 90% of the shifting issues. It's not the transmission, it's the programming. I fail to understand how on earth FOMOCO could not properly program the shifting on their #1 vehicle, and this transmission has been out for YEARS. Pretty sad.

I'd switch brands, but the GM twins are as ugly as sin, the Ram looks like a suppository, and the Toyota looks like it was designed in 1993 yet it commands 2030 truck pricing.

Ken Karnath (not verified)    April 17, 2021 - 9:33AM

Bought my 2020 Ford Ranger in December great price great service, 3230 miles into it driving 70 miles an hour down I-5 transmission slips out of gear and won't go back in, left me stranded on I-5 right lane couldn't move it this is a dangerous situation. Also have noticed that sometimes the lights will stay on when the ignition is off having Ford dealer fix both of these issues right now. kind of disappointed been a Ford Ranger guy since 1990

Francis H Badman (not verified)    June 16, 2021 - 1:26PM

Have 2020 f150 crew cab 3.5 v6 . Has a vibration problem. Starts at low speeds .at 45 mph it shakes the whole truck. at 60mph it shakes more. back to the dealer 3 times. finally was tol it was the 10 spd trans causeing. the problem. Fords ansewer was its the chararistics of the vehicle

Ryan McAndrews (not verified)    June 25, 2021 - 9:13AM

2019 F-150 5.0 here. 113,000km. Lost 2nd, 4th and 7th gear in this piece of junk. 13,000 over warranty and it needs to be replaced. My Tundra never has any problems at all

Moonerah Mughal (not verified)    July 29, 2021 - 12:51PM

I have a 2013 F-150. There have been two recalls on my transmission. The first one, I was stuck in 5th gear, and they did the recall. The second one, I was driving, on the freeway with my 94 year-old Grandmother and the truck suddenly downshifted into 1st gear. Talk about a super scary experience. I took it into the dealership and they said that there was a second recall on my transmission. They did the recall work and when I got my truck back it now shifts very hard in between 1st and 2nd gear. They said this is because when it suddenly downshifted it ruined the planetary gear and now I need a whole new transmission. I feel that they should take care of this issue as it wouldn't have gone into 1st gear unless it had an issue. This repair is going to cost me $6000. I am now riding my bike to work because I cannot rely on my truck.

William Holt (not verified)    August 17, 2021 - 1:00PM

2020 F150, 2WD, Crew cab, 5.0 and a JUNK 10 speed! Problems since day 1, always fed the line about it needing to learn. Well 1500 miles from home, towing a %K lb TT and only 17K on the truck, . It's at the dealer in pieces all over the workbench. Found a displaced o-ring, burnt clutch parts and who knows what else. 32 days now! Would never buy a Ford with this transmission. Will be looking at the Ram if I ever get this back

BILL GRINER (not verified)    September 10, 2021 - 10:57PM

I bought my F150 5.0/ 1080r new in 2019 and have had no problems til 46k miles.
The problem only happens when the vehicle has been sitting overnight or at work for 9 hours or so. It doesn't seem to want to leave 1st then at higher than normal rpms it shifts to 3rd so hard it barks the 35" KO2s. When I get up to around 42mph it acts like it goes into neutral for about 4 seconds then shifts. If I give it more gas to elevate the rpms during this point it shifts suddenly to the next gear "hard" and I hear a 'squeek" coming from the transmission. After driving a mile everything seems to be fine and no other issues will occur until it sits for an extended time.
I took it to Ford dealership that kept it for 3 weeks and replaced the valve body (didn't fix it). The transmission tech at the dealership turned in his resignation while my truck was in the shop but they said it was drivable. I found another dealer to work on it and dropped it off 3 days ago. The service guy asked me what it was doing then said "that's normal for them to shift weird sometimes...adaptive learning...blah...blah...blah". I told him to drive it before deciding how "normal" he thought it was.