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The Ford F-150 10-speed automatic transmission debuted in 2017 trucks. Though generally reliable, it has experienced numerous problems. Owners filed a class-action lawsuit for the F-150 10-speed transmission built from 2017 to 2021. They report gear slipping, harsh shifting, jerking, sudden acceleration or hesitation issues, and general loss of power. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to receive complaints.

What year did F-150 10-speed transmissions come out?

Ford transmission problems have plagued certain F-150 models
2021 Ford F-150 | Ford Motor Company

Though optional for the first few years after 2017, Ford’s 10-speed transmission became standard in the 2021 F-150. The benefits of going to 10 speeds included more efficiency over Chevrolet’s six- and eight-speed automatics and optimized fuel economy. Ford also claimed better performance than previous truck transmissions.

However, some 2017 F-150 owners experienced the transmission slamming into gear or slipping under acceleration. Sometimes, the transmission also slipped out of gear on acceleration.

Other drivers reported experiencing the transmission intermittently locking into a specific gear without the ability to shift. After parking their trucks for a couple of hours, owners could start and drive as usual. But they continue to experience the problem periodically. 

Did Ford issue technical service bulletins for the F-150 transmission problems?

White Ford F-150 Towing a Travel Trailer on a highway
Ford F-150 | Ford Motor Company

In 2018, Ford issued a technical service bulletin to dealers recommending reprogramming the electronic control units (ECUs) for harsh shifting. But F-150 owners still report rough shifting after the reprogramming. And in some cases, as NHTSA complaints note, the problem worsens after the truck returns from the dealer. 

By 2020, owners were experiencing a loud banging when shifting, followed by a harsh jerk. Owners also report that the transmission makes a loud clunk when shifted from Park to Drive. Some of these complaints add that after the owners take the trucks back to Ford dealers, the technicians cannot replicate the issues. Other times, dealer techs tell owners their trucks are operating normally.

One owner of a 2021 Ford F-150 with only 200 miles complained to the NHTSA that the dealer technician told him a communication error between the shifter and transmission had occurred. The tech informed the owner that Ford didn’t have a fix for the problem and was unaware of similar issues from other owners. 

Did Ford issue any recalls?

In April 2022, Ford recalled almost 50,000 2021 F-150 trucks for transmissions spontaneously shifting into Neutral. Then, once the affected truck stopped, it would automatically go into Park. The company said software issues caused some owners to experience this problem. Documents Ford submitted to the NHTSA show 28 warranty claims over the problems.

Specifically, the automaker said the software falsely indicated to the ECU that transmission pressure was too low. That defaulted to Neutral; once the truck stopped, the transmission automatically shifted into Park. It does that as a way to save the transmission from damage. The NHTSA campaign number is 22V-188, and Ford’s recall number is 22S15.

By 2022, Ford had also initiated additional steps to fix some of the F-150’s 10-speed transmission problems. First, the automaker replaced the clips holding the shifter cable. Then, the company replaced other unidentified components in some trucks. And in many cases, Ford extended warranties while trying to determine the source of the issues. 


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