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Ford Recalls Hybrids Because They Might Shift Into Neutral on Their Own

Owners of certain Ford Maverick, Escape PHEV, and Lincoln Corsair hybrid models should keep an eye on the mailbox. The automaker is notifying owners that their vehicle might unexpectedly shift into neutral on its own while driving.

The cause of the issue is software. In January, Ford updated the affected vehicles’ Hybrid Transmission Internal Park Module (HTIPM) diagnostic software via the Hybrid Powertrain Control Module (HPCM). The new diagnostic software is apparently detecting a noise in the Park Motor Position Sensor that triggers a diagnostic trouble code that results in the vehicle shifting into neutral.

When the fault occurs drivers will continue to have power steering and brakes, but the vehicles will not respond to accelerator inputs. When this happens, a wrench light appears on the instrument cluster, and the car displays multiple warning messages.

Ford began investigating field reports of vehicles shifting into neutral in March after receiving an HPCM update at the dealer. The automaker discovered that the HTIPM software released in January could result in the vehicle shifting into neutral on its own. Ford said in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report that it is unaware of any accidents or injuries resulting from this issue.

The company will begin notifying affected vehicle owners by mail this month, instructing them to visit their dealer for a new software update. The recall affects 8,727 cars, with the vast majority being 2022-2024 Maverick pickups. It also includes 2020-2022 Escapes and 2021-2022 Corsairs.

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