Again? Ford Issues Recall of 2023 F-150, Expedition 4x4s for Fracturing Front Axles
Ford’s quality woes keep getting worse. For its third recall of 2023 F-150s, front axles on 4×4 F-150s, Expeditions, and Navigators are fracturing. As you can imagine, this defeats the four-wheel drive function. But it can also cause the front wheels to lock up, with dire consequences. Hey Ford, you’ve got to get your quality issues in order.
Why are Ford F-150 front axles fracturing?
The problem is front axle pinions can fracture because they’re not annealed. Normally, they always are. Besides the front wheels suddenly locking up, the driveshaft can come in contact with the front crossmember and stability bar when this happens. This can cause loud banging noises, besides physical damage.
Once Ford became aware of the issue in January, it flung the Critical Concern Review Group into action. An investigation commenced on a number of F-150 trucks that experienced the problem. Ford discovered that the three F-150s fractured pinions when they were put into reverse to load onto transporters.
Has Ford reported any accidents because of the F-150 issue?
Thought to occur only on F-150 4×4 trucks, the same axle unit is in Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models as well. Ford manufactures the pinion for its 3.73:1 front axle pinion gear set. The part number is CL3W-3A410-BB.
The annealing process involves heating the pinion to make the part less brittle, meaning it is less likely to break under a load. Because incidents it is aware of happened during transportation to dealers, Ford is not aware of any incidents occurring in the field. So Ford says there are no warranty claims or owner complaints stemming from the issue.
How many F-150 trucks are in the recall?
Ford says there are about 240 vehicles with unannealed pinions. The trucks and SUVs were built in 2023 around January 12 and January 24. Dealers will replace front axle pinion gear sets at no charge. If an axle pinion is fractured, the dealer will replace the entire front axle assembly, again, at no charge under warranty.
As mentioned earlier, this is the third recall in 2023 for the F-150 pickup. The other two recalls are from early February. One was for automatic transmissions that would not go into Park, even if the shift indicator was in the Park position. The problem is a loose bolt that stops the shift pawl at the transmission from entering the Park position.
What you can do if you have questions about this F-150 recall
The other recall was an airbag issue. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that dashboard covers don’t allow the passenger-side airbag to deploy during a crash. Dealers are to replace the instrument panel cover. These three 2023 safety recalls come on the heels of seven recalls issued for the F-150 in 2022.
Should you have questions concerning your 2023 F-150, Expedition, or Lincoln Navigator, you can contact Ford’s recall center, or contact the NHTSA website. Have your VIN handy as you’ll need it to determine your vehicle’s standing.