Ford to Recall some 16,000 F-Series Trucks, Wins IIHS Top Safety Pick

Well, do you want the good news or the bad news first? How bout both in one sentence? Ford is recalling thousands of F-series trucks, including the 2011 F150, and elsewhere, the 2011 F150 has been named a Top Safety Pick for 2012 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Ford is recalling certain model year 2011 F150 trucks made from September 9, 2011 through September 22, 2011 and model year 2012 F250, F350, F450, F550 Heavy Duty trucks made from September 12, 2011 through September 22, 2011. The issue is that the the transmissions on these trucks may be able to be shifted out of park without pressing the brake pedal.

The root problem, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is a brake shift interlock switch problem, which causes the trucks in question to fail to comply with the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 114, Theft Protection. But the recall warns about potential crashes and injuries to pedestrians, as opposed to warning of any potential theft issues.

Ford will let you know if there’s a problem and replace the switch free of charge. The recall will begin in earnest on December 19th, but you can call Ford if you’re concerned: (866) 436-7332.

Apparently September was just a bad month, because the rest of the year’s productivity of F150′s proved to be quite successful (and it’s not like those ones aren’t going to get fixed). Right smack dab on the recent good news about winning Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award comes the news that the 2011 F150 is one of only three pickups to win a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to the IIHS announcement, “the award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover and rear crashes based on ratings in Institute evaluations… The ratings, which cover all four of the most common kinds of crashes, help shoppers pick vehicles that offer the highest levels of crash protection.”

So while it’s a bittersweet day, I think it’s best to focus on the good. Unless, of course, your truck was made in September.

Check out the press release below from the NHTSA:

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
FORD / F-150 2011
FORD / F-250 2012
FORD / F-350 2012
FORD / F-450 2012
FORD / F-550 2012

Manufacturer: FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Mfr’s Report Date: DEC 05, 2011
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V582000
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Potential Number of Units Affected: 16,091

Summary

FORD IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 F-150 VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 9, 2011, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22, 2011, AND MODEL YEAR 2012 F-250, F-350, F-450 AND F-550 HEAVY DUTY VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 12, 2011, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22, 2011. THESE VEHICLES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NUMBER 114, ?THEFT PROTECTION.? THE TRANSMISSION CAN BE SHIFTED OUT OF THE PARK POSITION WITHOUT PRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL DUE TO BRAKE SHIFT INTERLOCK SWITCH PROBLEM.

Consequence

THIS WILL ALLOW THE OPERATOR TO INADVERTENTLY SHIFT THE VEHICLE INTO GEAR WITHOUT THE BRAKE PEDAL BEING DEPRESSED, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH OR INJURY TO A NEARBY PEDESTRIAN.

Remedy

FORD WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE BRAKE SHIFT INTERLOCK SWITCH FUNCTION AND REPLACE THE SWITCH IF NECESSARY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 19, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP CENTER AT 1-866-436-7332.

Notes

OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .

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