The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening an inquiry into Ford’s response to a recall last year that affected nearly 49,000 Mustang Mach-E vehicles. as reported by automotive news. The June 2022 recall was issued due to a malfunction related to overheating of the electric SUV’s high-voltage contactors which, in the worst case, can cause the EV to suddenly lose power on the highway, increasing the risk of a crash.
The occurrences often followed high-speed battery charging or repeated sessions of fast acceleration.
Ford issued an over-the-air (OTA) software update in response to the recall, which was designed to reduce power if the contactors got too hot, in hopes of preventing sudden power loss and possible damage to the contacts. The automaker also made new Mach-E deliveries to dealerships until they received the software update. The automaker had also opened a service bulletin to replace the high-voltage battery junction box on affected vehicles.
Now, NHTSA’s Bureau of Defect Investigation reports receiving 12 consumer complaints regarding Ford’s fix.
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened this recall inquiry (RQ) after receiving 12 consumer complaints alleging a failure of the high voltage battery main contactor in 2021-2022 Ford Mach-E MY vehicles (vehicles in issue) that were included in recall 22V-412 and remediated prior to the reported incidents. The remedy in this recall was a software update to the Secondary On-Board Diagnostic Control Module (SOBDMC) to monitor contactor temperature and reduce battery power to prevent damage to the contactor, and a software update to the Control Module (BECM) to monitor contactor resistance to identify an overheated contactor and reduce vehicle power to prevent further damage.
A customer complaint dated August 19 says they had to replace the high voltage battery junction box twice for the same electrical system issue. Another complaint in February mentioned that the glitch reoccurred after getting the software update.
The original recall affected 48,924 2021 and 2022 Mustang Mach-E vehicles manufactured between May 27, 2020 and May 24, 2022 at Ford’s Cuautitlán plant in Mexico. For the new inquiry, NHTSA says that approximately 64,727 vehicles are part of its investigation.