Ford Motor Co. has recalled more than 402,000 Ford Transit vans in North America because of a driveshaft coupling defect that the company expects to spend $142 million to repair.. The affected model year 2015, 2016 and 2017 Transits have a flexible driveshaft coupling that cracks after about 30,000 miles, possibly causing the driveshaft to separate from the transmission, resulting in a loss of power while driving or unintended movement of parked vehicles not anchored by a parking brake. Such separation can also damage surrounding components, including brakes and fuel lines, Ford said in a statement.
A driveshaft separation may increase the risk of injury or crash, but Ford said it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries associated with the issue. Based on field data, Ford doesn’t expect the couplings to deteriorate enough to cause separation in vehicles that haven’t yet been driven 30,000 miles. For those, no repair is necessary until they reach that milestone, the company said. Once a van has been driven more than 30,000 miles, it should undergo temporary repairs to replace the coupling every 30,000 miles until a final repair is available and can be completed. Owners will be informed of the issue by mail and instructed to take their Transits to a dealership, where the coupling will be replaced at no cost.
According to Ford, owners will also be notified when a permanent repair is available. At that point, they will be able to have a redesigned coupling or revised driveshaft installed at no cost, the company explained. Its not known why a permanent fix is not currently available, or when one might be. The Transits in question were built at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri between Jan. 17, 2014, and June 15, 2017. About 371,000 of the vans are in the U.S., 26,000 are in Canada, 3,200 are in Mexico and 2,400 are in U.S. territories. The reference number for the Transit recall is 17S15.
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