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Ford Escape, Maverick, And Lincoln Corsair Hybrids Could Unexpectedly Shift Into Neutral

  • A software update that Ford rolled out in January messed with the transmission in certain vehicles
  • As a result, these vehicles may try to shift out of drive on the road
  • Ford will update the transmission software in affected Mavericks, Escapes, and Lincoln Corsairs at no cost to the owner

Software controls more and more of what modern vehicles can do, and when that goes wrong, it can lead to some pretty scary consequences. Such is the case for 8,727 Ford and Lincoln vehicles affected by a glitch that could cause them to shift into neutral unexpectedly.

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The issue predominantly impacts the 2022-2024 Ford Maverick, 8,369 of which are included in this recall, but 277 Escapes from the 2020-2022 model years, and 81 Lincoln Corsairs from the 2021-2022 model years could also be affected by it.

Read: Savings Over Safety? Ford Under Fire For Recall Fix That Doesn’t Solve The Problem

All of the vehicles that shift unexpectedly into neutral are hybrids, and they received a Hybrid Powertrain Control Module software update at a dealership, first released in January 2024, and was targeted at the Hybrid Transmission Internal Park Module.

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It’s not yet clear what the update was supposed to do, but it had the impact of making the transmission too sensitive to “noise” in the Park Motor Position Sensor, which could result in the vehicle incorrectly sending up a Park Motor Position Sensor Diagnostic Trouble Code.

As a result, as the vehicle is slowing down and coasting to a stop, the transmission may try to automatically shift into Park. When this occurs, the vehicle will actually go into neutral despite the gear shift indicator light is still in “Drive.”

 Ford Escape, Maverick, And Lincoln Corsair Hybrids Could Unexpectedly Shift Into Neutral

If that happens, throttle inputs won’t result in forward motion, and a disagreement between what the gear selector indicates, and what the instrument panel shows (which will accurately display “Neutral”), may cause the driver to attempt to shift back into drive, at which point the vehicle will enter a limp mode, limiting speeds to 30 mph (48 km/h).

That could put the occupants in a vulnerable position if, say, they are on the highway when this error occurs. Fortunately, Ford is not yet aware of any accidents or injuries relating to this problem, though it has received 315 warranty claims about the issue in North America.

As a result, it has launched a recall and will start reaching out to Maverick, Escape, and Corsair owners on May 23. They will be asked to take their vehicles to a nearby dealership, where a safer software update to Park Motor Position Sensor noise will be installed. The update will be completed at no cost to the owner.

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 Ford Escape, Maverick, And Lincoln Corsair Hybrids Could Unexpectedly Shift Into Neutral

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