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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2013 Ford F-150

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2013 Ford F-150, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Reduced power during hard acceleration

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13018

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 22, 2013
    • Date Closed: April 07, 2014
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling

    Summary: On May 22, 2013, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE13-018 to investigate 95 complaints alleging incidents of reduced engine power during hard accelerations in model year (MY) 2011 through 2013 Ford F-150 trucks.ODI was aware of three technical service bulletins (TSBs) issued by Ford for a condition that was related to moisture accumulation in the Charge Air Cooler (CAC) for the turbochargers.A Preliminary Evaluation was opened to gather information to assess whether the subject vehicles contain a safety related defect.The subject vehicles are powered by Ford-s 3.5L EcoBoost engine which uses twin turbochargers to obtain a balance of fuel economy and engine power based on the driver-s demand.When the driver requests more power from the engine, as in accelerating to pass, merge, ascend hills or haul a load the two turbochargers will spin up compressing the air which is then used to increase the power created by the combustion in the engine.The compressed air, which gains heat by the compression process, is passed through a Charge Air Cooler (CAC) which is designed to lower the temperature of the air in order to make the combustion process even more efficient (Figures 1 and 2).In response to ODI-s Information Request letter, Ford indicated that a misfire condition could occur after steady-speed operation under significantly humid and rainy conditions.Ford-s analysis found that under those conditions, condensation could form and accumulate on the inside of the CAC tubes which could then be ingested into the engine during particularly hard acceleration near wide-open throttle.An engine misfire of up to three cylinders could occur if the amount of condensed water released from the CAC exceeded the engine-s operating threshold for water ingestion.Ford noted that due to regulations set by the EPA, the powertrain software would disable up to two of the misfiring cylinders for no more than 30 seconds and until the driver tips out the throttle in order to protect the catalytic converter from damage. Ford-s testing of this condition on the subject vehicles showed that a vehicle experiencing such a condition would continue to maintain its speed as well as accelerate, albeit at a lower rate than expected by the driver.Similar results were obtained in testing done by NHTSA-s Vehicle Research and Testing Center in East Liberty, Ohio (Figure 6).In an ongoing process to address the problem Ford issued a series of TSBs where a deflector shield was installed onto the CAC (Figures 3, 4 and 5).In January 2014 Ford indicated that its data shows that the TSBs have been effective in resolving the problem, that for the MY 2013 vehicles their remedy is 100% effective and the latest TSBs for MY 2011 -" 2012 are 95% effective.The 525 complaints to ODI and the total 4,120 unique VIN complaints listed in the Failure Report are incidents of alleged reduced power or driveability symptoms and not all are necessarily related to the condition created by water ingestion.Reduced power conditions can occur for a variety of reasons including faults with ignition coils, spark plugs, a catalytic converter, the throttle body, turbocharger, fuel pump/filter, powertrain control module (hardware or software) or transmission shifting problems.Ford also noted that in a large number of warranty claims on the subject vehicles, the CAC was replaced or a TSB procedure was performed when the symptoms exhibited were inconsistent with a CAC water ingestion related issue.Given these circumstances, further use of the agency resources in this matter does not appear to be warranted.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will continue to monitor complaints and other information relating to the alleged defect and take further action in the future if warranted.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Unexpected Transmission Downshift

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ17010

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: December 25, 2017
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Control Module (Tcm, Pcm)

    Summary: In March of 2016 Ford Motor Company launched safety recall 16V-248 to address unexpected transmission downshifts to 1st gear occurring on certain model year 2011-2012 Ford F-150, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and Ford Mustang vehicles.An unexpected downshift to 1st gear can cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly and without warning.This can also cause the rear tires to skid or lock up, increasing the risk of a crash.Ford recalled vehicles built between certain production dates to address this defect.The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 123 reports concerning the automatic transmission unexpectedly downshifting into a lower gear without input since the launch of 16V-248 on model year 2011-2013 Ford F-150, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles.Many reports claim the vehicle was not covered under 16V-248 despite having the same symptoms.Additionally, some reports indicate that the remedy was not effective.ODI has received 2 reports of crashes and no injuries.ODI has opened this investigation to further analyze the scope, frequency and consequence of the alleged incidents. ODI reports cited above;10985839, 10984844, 10984829, 10984426, 10983242, 10983195, 10983171, 10980493, 10979225, 10970894, 10970779, 10970618, 10970367, 10969421, 10967885, 10967731, 10967335, 10966131, 10965919, 10959119, 10958303, 10955579, 10955297, 10954555, 10954325, 10950179, 10946888, 10945269, 10945166, 10939947, 10937069, 10935277, 10934597, 10930140, 10926970, 10926609, 10926348, 10925536, 10925009, 10924132, 10919888, 10910520, 10910111, 10909999, 10908680, 10907083, 10907076, 10905181, 10904824, 10897934, 10896601, 10895347, 10895139, 10893392, 10891736, 10889119, 10885784, 11020890, 11020725, 11020285, 11019546, 11019060, 10885074, 10885033, 10884366, 10883292, 10882963, 10876551, 10876186, 10874800, 10874667, 10871047, 10865343, 10864491, 10863708, 10861924, 10854025, 10822202, 10822171, 10817534, 11015958, 11012765, 11012591, 11006233, 11005369, 11003409, 11002952, 10992753, 10992209, 10992082, 10991757, 10991261, 10991073, 10990710, 10986288, 10986234, 11041671, 11040520, 11042154, 11043007, 11044364, 11042874, 11042517, 11045622, 11046046, 11044490, 11047456, 11047815, 11048079, 11047664, 11052341, 11051305, 11051285, 11051173, 11051534, 11051358, 11051507, 11052165, 11051712, 11052608, 11054001, 11053459, 11053733

  3. INVESTIGATION: Master Cylinder External Leak

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE16003

    Component(s): Service Brakes
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Fluid
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Foundation Components:Master Cylinder

    Summary: On May 23, 2016, Ford Motor Company (Ford) submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) to NHTSA regarding a master cylinder defect that could result in loss of the front brake circuit in approximately 225,012 model year 2013 through 2014 Ford F-150 vehicles equipped with 3.5-liter GTDI engines and built at the Dearborn Truck Plant from August 1, 2013 through August 22, 2014; and the Kansas City Assembly Plant from August 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014 (NHTSA Recall #16V-345, Ford Recall #16S24).Ford indicated that the rearmost cup seal in the brake master cylinder may roll, resulting in leakage from the brake fluid reservoir to the brake booster.According to Ford's DIR, "Depending on the amount of brake fluid loss from the brake master cylinder into the brake booster, the driver will experience an audible chime, message center alert, red brake warning light in the instrument cluster and may begin to experience a change in brake pedal travel and feel.In the event that a loss of brake fluid is substantial enough to reduce brake function to the front wheels, the driver may experience longer pedal travel, increased pedal effort, and extended stopping distance, increasing the risk of a crash.Full braking function would remain in the rear wheel brake circuit."Ford's recall will replace the master cylinder and, if the master cylinder is leaking, also replace the brake booster.Seventy-three (73) of the complaints received by ODI contained vehicle identification number (VIN) information required to determine date of build and recall applicability.ODI's analysis found that 66 complaints to ODI and 278 complaints to Ford involving vehicles built in the range covered by 16V-345, resulting in an overall complaint rate of 152.9 incidents per 100,000 vehicles.Twelve (12) crash incidents were reported, including 11 with VIN information.All 11 crash incidents with VIN information reported involve vehicles covered by Ford's recall.ODI's analysis identified 7 ODI complaints and 36 Ford complaints in the 194,139 subject vehicles built outside of the build range for 16V-345, resulting in a complaint rate of 22.1 incidents per 100,000 vehicles.Ford indicated that warranty return analyses identified issues with minor internal leakage between circuits due to internal contamination caused by supplier assembly plant cleanliness concerns in these vehicles.Ford assessed the internal leak condition as an early-life condition with minimal safety risk that does not result in loss of fluid or circuit failure.ODI will continue to monitor complaints in subject vehicles not included in 16V-345.No complaints have been identified in MY 2013 through 2014 Ford F-150 vehicles equipped with other engine options.The recall action initiated by the manufacturer appears to address the safety risks identified by this investigation.This preliminary evaluation is closed.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetylssues under the following identification numbers:10870768, 10870747, 10870511, 10870395, 10870055, 10869981, 10865843, 10865521, 10865342, 10865043, 10864862, 10864714, 10864360, 10863982, 10863527, 10862333, 10862047, 10861735, 10861190, 10860378, 10860118, 10855381, 10855356, 10854785, 10853751, 10853295, 10853012, 10852349, 10852134, 10852037, 10851317, 10851268, 10851109, 10850015, 10849862, 10846488, 10846335, 10846193, 10846006, 10840414, 10840377, 10839994, 10839985, 10839981, 10839833, 10839825, 10839816, 10838782, 10838510, 10818273, 10817706, 10809601, 10788886, 10788369, 10785526, 10779854, 10776834, 10766291, 10762034, 10761412, 10760663, 10758997, 10750065, 10749886, 10748122, 10747875, 10747531, 10746143, 10745511, 10744847, 10743344, 10733196, 10733023, 10731327, 10725476, 10725096, 10725046, 10724169, 10715103, 10692723, 10662564, and 10632103.

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