It's definitely not a good day for Ford, which is on its second large-scale of the last few days. This time, the problem is rather serious, as it concerns the electronic emergency brake on more than 870,000 units of the F-150 pickup, 2021-2023 model-years.
The issue is that the emergency brake can engage unexpectedly, even while the vehicle is being driven. Needless to say, this can be a serious hazard.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the equivalent of Transport Canada, says the models concerned were built between January 8, 2020 and February 25, 2023. Ford estimates that the defect is only present in around 1 percent of the recalled models. Understandably, it can't take any chances and is recalling as many vehicles as possible.
The company has not specified which model trim levels are affected, but it explains that only versions equipped with a single exhaust system are targeted. It adds that, on the latter, “the rear axle wiring harness may come into contact with the rear axle housing.”
The problem is that the wire that activates the electronic parking brake is part of this wiring harness. If it is damaged, a short circuit can occur, activating the parking brake without the driver's intervention, which could lead to an accident.
Drivers may notice the parking brake warning light on the dashboard, as well as an error message on the instrument cluster, before the problem occurs. Needless to say, if these signs appear, it's time to put the vehicle aside and contact your repair shop.
Ford says it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem, but has received 918 warranty claims and three field incident reports. Corrosion on the rear axle housing tends to damage wiring even faster. This should be of even greater concern to Canadian owners, given our climate.
Ford will contact owners by mail on September 11. Ford technicians will inspect the rear axle wiring harness and replace it if the protective tape is damaged. If it is not damaged, they will install a tie-down strap and tape to protect it. Owners who have already paid to have this problem resolved may request a refund.
We have contacted Ford of Canada to find out how many units of the model were affected in our area. We will update this news when the information is available.