Ford Halts Mustang Mach-E Deliveries for Battery Recall
Ford today issued a recall for its Mustang Mach-E EV. According to an NHTSA file provided by Ford Road & Track, the problem will be fixed in a software update due to arrive next month. "For affected vehicles, direct current ('DC') fast charging and repeated wide-open pedal events can cause the high-voltage battery main contactors to overheat," the filing reads.
"Overheating can cause arcing and deformation of the electrical contact surfaces, which can cause a contactor to remain open or a contactor to weld closed," the filing continues. "An overheated contactor that opens while driving can result in a loss of drive power, which can increase the risk of an accident."
CNBC first reported these Mach-E problems and said that Ford is issuing a freeze on sales. Said Deep, Ford's head of product communications, told Road & Track that there is no freeze on sales and that dealers are free to sell Mach-Es, but deliveries can only take place after the software update is implemented. CNBC reports that vehicles built between May 27, 2020 and May 24, 2022 may be affected, which includes most of the car's 100,000 units to date. Ford's NHTSA filing says 48,924 vehicles in the US are potentially affected. Next month, Ford will release an over-the-air software update for the Secondary On-Board Diagnostic Control Module (SOBDMC) and the Battery Energy Control Module (BECM). Mach-E owners also have the option of going to a retailer to have the update installed. We asked Ford if the software update will affect DC fast charge speeds and straight-line performance, and we'll update this story if we get an answer.
Ford has issued five previous recalls for the Mach-E, both hardware and software related, but none have affected such a large population of vehicles. The largest previous recall was for "inadequate windshield bonding," which affected 17,962 vehicles in the United States.
In recent years, Ford has struggled to bring major new vehicles to market. The current-generation Explorer was hit by a slew of quality issues early in production, while problems with the Bronco's hardtop forced Ford to replace every single one last year. The NHTSA also last year asked owners of 2021 F-150s to stop driving their cars because of bad seat belts. When Jim Farley took the helm at Ford in 2020, one of his top priorities was improving quality so the automaker wouldn't have to pay as many warranty payments. That year, Ford brought in longtime VP from J.D. Power, Josh Halliburton, to turn things around.
This represents a setback for Ford as the Mach-E was a hit, although the update being software just means it won't be expensive. Still, it hurts the brand's reputation as it aims to become a leader in electric vehicles with the Mach-E and recently launched F-150 Lightning.
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