Ford Motor Company will recall almost 300,000 vehicles equipped with gear shift cables that can malfunction, potentially misleading drivers the vehicle is safely in the “Park” position.
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The Dearborn, Michigan-based manufacturer sent the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a safety recall report on April 4, 2018 stating they will recall 292,909 2018 Ford F-150, 2018 Ford Expedition, 2018 Ford F-650 and 2018 Ford F-750 vehicles built between April 25, 2017 and March 9, 2018. Only those vehicles equipped with 10-speed automatic transmissions are affected by the defect.
Ford’s report states a clip locking the gear shift cable to the transmission may not be fully seated. Over time, a partially or completely dislodged clip can let the transmission be in a different gear state from the shift position selected by the driver. This can let a driver move the shifter to Park and remove the ignition key with no warning chime, not knowing the vehicle is not actually parked. If the parking brake isn’t applied, the vehicle can inadvertently move and cause an accident.
The manufacturer first received reports of a rollaway incident in February 2018 and began an investigation. Engineers found the vehicle’s shift lever was in the Park position but the instrument cluster displayed Neutral. Further inspection found an unseated transmission shift level cable adjuster locking clip.
Further analysis of customer reports in March 2018 found other incidents potentially caused by defective transmission adjuster cable clips, including “shifter mismatch,” “inoperative shifter,” or “no start” symptoms. Ford approved a recall action on March 26, 2018.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the shift cable locking clip and properly seat it, if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 16, 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for the recall is 18S10. Ford owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
The manufacturer of your vehicle is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide the loss value of your recalled vehicle, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.