Ford recalls hybrids over software issue putting them in limp mode

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Ford is recalling nearly 9,000 hybrid vehicles to address a software issue that could cause the drivetrain to shift into neutral unexpectedly.

Affected vehicles include 8,369 Maverick hybrid pickup trucks from model years 2022-2024, as well as 277 Escape crossovers from model years 2020-2022 and 81 Lincoln Corsair plug-in hybrid crossovers from model years 2021 and 2022. All three models share a basic platform and many major components.

2022 Ford Escape

In these vehicles, the Hybrid Powertrain Control Module (HPCM) may errantly shift the drivetrain into neutral, keeping the vehicle on but cutting drive power to the wheels, according to the NHTSA. In this condition, the vehicle will coast to a stop and automatically shift into park. Once shifted back into drive, vehicles will enter a limp home mode that limits power.

Dealers will install updated HPCM software free of charge. Ford plans to begin notifying owners of when to schedule an appointment for this service later this month.

2022 Lincoln Corsair

2022 Lincoln Corsair

Consumer Reports has emphasized that the Maverick is very reliable. It and J.D. Power have also found that, on an industry average, hybrids are less trouble-prone than plug-in hybrids and EVs. Furthermore, the EPA has noted that hybrids and EVs have helped offset more polluting trucks and SUVs.

Ford remains committed to hybrids in its future product plans, and seems to view them as a fallback for EV uncertainty. CEO Jim Farley has said that hybrids will play an “increasingly important role” alongside EVs. And the automaker has delayed some next-generation EVs—including a promised pickup truck and SUV—as it moves to add hybrids across its lineup.

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