— Ford is recalling more than 5,200 Transit vans in the U.S. and Canada if the 2023 Transits are "equipped with the Special Vehicle Operations Accessory Service Kit #1 or #2 with a High Specification Vehicle Interface Connector."
According to Ford, the auxiliary wire harness will disable the heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) system when the accessory kit is installed.
Also disabled are the defrost and defog systems which drivers need when the windshields are fogged.
Ford opened an investigation in January after reports of 2023 Transit heating and cooling system failures. Those reports came from upfitters of the Transit vans which are built by Ford and modified by upfitters, or what Ford calls, body builders.
"If ordered, Ford supplies a Special Service Kit that comes with several wire harnesses, including an auxiliary wire harness that can connect to the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus. This auxiliary wire harness provides additional inputs and outputs for upfitters to use." — Ford
Engineers visited upfitters to understand how the wire harnesses were used. Ford discovered certain Transit vans built between November 2, 2022, and January 28, 2023, have HVAC systems that won't work after upfitters install the auxiliary wire harnesses.
Engineers learned the Transit auxiliary wire harness was missing a twisted pair loop which resulted in an open communication loop, preventing the HVAC system from receiving any communications.
Ford also determined the HVAC system will work if an upfitter does not use the auxiliary wire harness but instead uses the original Transit wire harness.
Ford is aware of 35 reports of Transits that lost their HVAC systems between January 14, 2023, and February 11, 2023. But Ford says there have been no crash or injury reports.
Ford Transit recall letters will be mailed March 20, 2023. Ford dealers will repair or replace the auxiliary wire harnesses if needed.
Owners who have questions about the Ford Transit recall should call 866-436-7332. Ford's number for this Transit recall is 23C02.