Ford is recalling over 400,000 vehicles to address issues with the drivetrain, rear seat mounts and the driver’s knee bag.
The bulk of the vehicles are Ford Transit vans and busses from 2015 to 2017, in medium, long and extended wheelbases, and chassis cab/cutaways. The issue is a driveshaft flexible coupling that may crack, potentially causing the driveshaft to separate. When that happens, it could result in loss of motive power while driving, or unintended movement when the vehicle is parked. Beyond that, separation of the driveshaft could lead to damage of components near the driveshaft, such as brake and fuel lines.
Needless to say, if any of those things happen, there is increased chance of a crash, with potential for injuries to vehicle occupants if the car is in use at the time. Ford is not aware of any injuries associated with the issue that affects 402,462 vehicles in North America — 372,991 in the US and its federalized territories, 26,254 in Canada and 3,217 in Mexico).
Ford has flagged the 50,000-km mark as the threshold for driveshaft separation, so it doesn’t expect current flexible couplings to deteriorate sufficiently until the odometer reaches that distance. Vehicles with more than 50,000 on the odo, or when vehicles reach that mile marker, will have the flexible driveshaft coupling replaced, and have the procedure repeated every 50,000 km as needed until the final repair is available, which consists of replacing the flawed coupling by a redesigned coupling with a modified driveshaft bracket and shield, or a revised driveshaft with a universal joint.
The other recalls affect just a handful of vehicles.
The first is for Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles from 2017, four of which have second row seats whose attachment studs need replacing lest they put rear-seat occupants at risk of injury in a crash due to lack of restraint.
Again, Ford is not aware of any incidents or injuries resulting from the issue.
The third action concerns three 2016 Ford Escapes with faulty driver knee bags. In a crash, the airbags may not inflate as intended due to the lack of inflator gas generant. If that happens, the driver won’t be properly protected from what could be serious injury, although Ford is not aware of any crashes or injuries.