Report: Disabling Traction Control In Your Mustang Mach-E Causes it to ‘Freak Out’

Ford Mustang Mach-E owners are reporting their new EVs are “freaking out” on slippery streets when the traction control is turned off. The same is being reported for owners who try to do burnouts. We’d like to know more about why they’re doing burnouts, but not right now. Anyway, error messages start cascading on their Mach-E screens in either of these circumstances. 

What happens when the Mustang Mach-E traction control is off?

Orange Ford Mustang Mach-E driving, highlighting how EV car batteries destroy the environment and violate human rights
Ford Mustang Mach-E | Ford

Drivers have reported up to eight messages pop up. They also can’t stop the error messages by getting into another mode, because it won’t allow them to do that. This occurs while doing donuts or burnout, but more significant, while trying to get a stuck Mach-E out of snow. 

First reports of this Mach-E “freakout” showed up on a Mach-E forum, according to InsideEVs. The poster owns a GT Performance Mach-E. After heavy snow, he turned the traction control off to be able to go up a hill. He says it was the only way to make it up. 

What do the Mustang Mach-E error messages say?

2022 Mustang Mach-e
Ice White 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E | Ford

A series of error messages started flashing on his screen. They included: 

  • Hill-start assist not available
  • Pedal drive fault
  • Press brake pedal to reduce speed
  • Service AdvanceTrac
  • Check headlamp system-See manual
  • Auto hold fault-blind spot fault
  • Cross-traffic system fault
  • Reverse brake assist not available-see manual

Thinking that a sensor or sensors got blocked with snow, he cleaned the Mach-E to see what would happen. But the messages would come up again. And again. When driving, the messages would reset after a few minutes, and then the cascade of messages would continue. 

The post started a cascade of its own. Other owners chimed in to relate the same issue, though some were under different conditions. The common thread was turning off the traction control and spinning the tires. This caused the Mach-E freakouts.

Taking his Mach-E into a Ford dealership, they performed an inspection. Then all of the modules were reset to stop the error messages. The dealer suspects that a steering position sensor is causing the errors. 

When it happens take it into a Ford dealer

A silver Ford Mustang logo on a blue car.
Ford Mustang logo | Getty Images

One fix for some error messages is to drive the car for a few minutes so the steering center sensor can relearn to find the center. At some point, try not to give steering input for a few seconds, and drive over 18 mph. This won’t clear all of the messages but helps with some. The best advice is to take it to your nearest dealer.

Owners also point out that they were able to turn off transaction control under the circumstances outlined, but never had these issues. That is, until a recent software update

So Ford obviously is aware of these problems, and through dealer inspections, has an idea of how to correct the software. But it is disheartening that something so benign as turning off traction control can cause these issues. But as Ford first adopters, the saying goes, “We are all guinea pigs in the laboratory of Ford.” Or something like that.

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