Trucks & SUVs

Recall: Is Your 2020 Ford F-150 Actually in Drive When You Put It in Park?

For more than 40 years, the Ford F-150 has been the U.S.’s best-selling truck. The 2020 Ford F-150 has plenty to offer buyers, with lots of trim levels, engine choices, luxury features, and technology. Safety is also one of the most important features buyers look for in a new vehicle, and the 2020 F-150 is rated well by both the NHTSA and the IIHS. However, the 2020 Ford F-150, along with two other Ford models, has a new recall that could cause safety problems.

The Ford recall

Ford announced a safety recall of almost 68,000 vehicles that were built in February and March 2020. Because of a part that was improperly placed, drivers may be able to put the shifter into park while the transmission stays in drive. The errant part is a cable locking clip designed to connect the gearshift cable and the transmission. The clip may not be in the right spot, so, over time, the transmission may begin to stay in a different gear from what the driver has chosen.

If the driver has parked the vehicle and removed the key, but the transmission is still in drive, the vehicle would still be able to move if the parking brake isn’t also on. In a press release, Ford said it’s not aware of injuries or accidents caused by the problem, although both are a risk of this problem.

The Ford F-150 and others that are affected

The recall is for the 2020 F-150 with 10-speed automatic transmission, 2020 Ford Ranger, and 2020 Expedition with the police package and 10-speed automatic transmission. The F-150s were built at the Dearborn Truck Plant between February 18 and March 19, 2020 and at the Kansas City Assembly Plant between February 21 and March 19. The Rangers were built at the Michigan Assembly Plant between February 28 and March 18. The Expeditions were built at the Kentucky Truck Plant from March 3 to March 19.

The recall affects 55,158 vehicles in the U.S., 12,090 in Canada, and 681 in Mexico. Not affected are vehicles with a rotary gearshift dial.

How to take care of the problem

To have the problem fixed, owners should go to an authorized dealership to have the part checked and seated correctly if necessary. The repairs should be taken care of free for owners. The recall is expected to begin on April 27, 2020, and the number for the recall is 20S18. Owners who’d like to speak to Ford’s customer service should call 1-866-436-7332.

Other recalls for the Ford F-150 and other models

Ford F-150 trucks go through the assembly line at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant
Ford F-150 models in production | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Recalls are often initiated by customer complaints submitted either to the manufacturer or to the NHTSA. The NHTSA collects concerns on their Vehicle Safety Complaint webpage. A recall can then be issued either by the manufacturer or by the NHTSA, and the recalls are monitored by the NHTSA.

Owners should receive a recall letter in the mail but can also look up recalls on the NHTSA’s website. The 2020 F-150 currently has four recalls in addition to the cable locking clip. Owners should talk to their dealers about possible repairs on the daytime running lights, the spare tire, excessive sealant adhesive on the battery cable, and improperly assembled seatbacks. The 2020 Ranger doesn’t have any other recalls aside from the clip issue. The 2020 Expedition has one other recall, which is improperly assembled seatbacks.

Owners of this subset of Ford F-150s, Ford Rangers, and Ford Expeditions should contact their dealers to look into having these recall repairs taken care of. Hopefully, there won’t be additional recalls in the future, but the NHTSA website offers a quick way for all owners to stay up to date about recalls.