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Mustang Mach-E recalled over power loss risk

SHORTING: The issue can result in an electric relay remaining open or welding itself closed from heat causing a loss of drive and risk of an accident.

Ford faces EV and gearbox related recalls; 50 million US vehicles remain subject to recalls

17 Jun 2022

FORD has recalled 48,924 Mustang Mach-E crossovers due to the risk of high-voltage battery contactors overheating, and dealers have been told to halt deliveries until the issue is resolved.


The news comes as 50 million US vehicles remain subject to recalls, Carfax data shows, six per cent down on last year but still a staggering number. 


By far the greatest global recall in history, the faulty Takata airbag inflator recall, still poses issues in the US according to Carfax.


The potentially lethal Takata defect, linked to 19 deaths and 400 injuries, and ‘do not drive’ notices are still the most common open recalls.


The issue with the Ford Mustang Mach-E EV is that the high voltage battery contactors, which overheat as a result of Direct Current (DC) fast charging and repeated wide-open pedal events, experience arcing and deformation of contact surfaces.


Ford outlines that the issue can result in an electric relay remaining open or welding itself closed from heat, with the former causing a loss of drive and ‘risk of an accident’. 


Owners will experience a powertrain malfunction warning light if the relay remains open, as well as a ‘Stop Safely Now’ alert as the vehicle loses drive power.


If the relay switch is welded closed, on the other hand, the same powertrain malfunction light will come on, and the vehicle won’t start for the next drive cycle. 


A recall FAQ on Ford’s global website explains that the root cause is the high voltage battery main relay switch not being robust enough to handle the heat generated during DC fast charging or flatfoot acceleration.


Despite the issue being with the physical relay Ford says the recall will be resolved with a software update either over-the-air or at a dealer from July, with no mention of hardware changes. 


The safety recall doesn’t include a stop driving order, so owners can still use their vehicles – although flooring the ‘go pedal’ or DC fast charging may not be a good idea until software updates come next month. 


This is the biggest recall but not the first for the Mustang Mach-E model, with Ford issuing previous recalls for defective subframe bolts, as well as improperly bonded windshields and sunroofs that were at risk of falling off. 


Ford has reiterated that the order books are still open, but no vehicles will be delivered until software updates have been completed. 


While the Ford Mustang Mach-E isn’t yet available in Australia, despite being the car-maker’s flagship electric offering, in the US sales numbers are up over 40,000 vehicles making it a very popular EV option.


The all-electric E-Transit van, as well as the plug-in hybrid Escape ST-Line SUV, are both due down under later this year but when we’ll see the Mustang Mach-E is a bit of an unknown. 


It’s been a tough month for Ford, with another major recall of 2.9 million vehicles over gear shift issues announced around the same time as the Mustang Mach-E recall. 


The recall includes Ford Escape (2013-2019), C-Max (2013-2018), Fusion (2013-2016), Transit Connect (2013-2021, and Edge (2015-2018) models and prevents shifting in affected vehicles. 


A damaged or missing bushing puts affected vehicles at risk of rolling away, if ‘Park’ isn’t properly engaged, with six reports of property damage and four alleged injuries linked to the shifting issues. 


Ford hasn’t cited a specific cause for the bushing damage but is replacing the shift bushing and adding a protective cap to correct the issue. 

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