EXCLUSIVE: Ford Chassis Defects Affect Estimated 75% of Recalled Units

a picture of the Ford Motor Company logo

An inadequate amount of rear axle lubricant is affecting Ford vehicles with its 2020-2021 F-53 motorhome stripped chassis and F-59 commercial stripped chassis.

The company announced a recall related to the issue March 24. Owner notification letters were sent May 12. Ford stated it is not aware of any reported of accident or injury related to the issue, which can begin affecting units after 5 miles of driving.

On Feb. 18, Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group was informed about reports from vehicle upfitters claiming rear axle noise, bearing failures or broken rear axles. Initial investigations found the complaint vehicles had an inadequate amount of rear axle lubricant. Ford said the issue began in July 2020 and continued through mid-February 2021.

Recall information issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated in the event of a rear axle or driveshaft failure, drivers may experience  vehicle motive power loss, parking brake failure or inability to shift the transmission into “PARK.”

Ford estimated 75% of the 16,128 recalled vehicles have the defect. Ford reported 7,876 F-53 Motorhome Stripped Chassis vehicles affected, while its F-59 commercial chassis estimated 8,252 affected units.

“In customer vehicles with the affected chassis, dealers will inspect bearings for signs of wear or damage and replace the part,” a Ford spokesperson said. “If the parts are not available, dealers will provide an interim fix. Customers will be notified when the permanent service fix is available.

“For new in-stock vehicles, dealers will inspect the lubricant level and top off the rear axle fluid and if needed, provide a replacement part,” a Ford spokesperson said.

On March 17, Ford’s Field Review Committee looked at the concern and approved a field service action.

Before demonstrating or delivering any new in-stock vehicles involved in the recall, dealers are asked to inspect and perform the actions listed below, depending on the vehicle mileage and part availability. This service must be performed on all affected vehicles at no charge to the vehicle owner:

  • If 5 miles or less are on the odometer, check and top off the rear axle fluid
  • If greater than 5 miles on the odometer and Ford parts are available, replace parts as directed
  • For customer vehicles only – If greater than 5 miles on the odometer and Ford parts are not available, inspect bearings for signs of wear or damage and replace with approved interim parts as required.
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