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One Half Million Defective Ford Gearshifts

Monday, October 15, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

A recall was announced in July for Ford cars and SUVs in North America due to unexpected rollaway of these vehicles. The gearshift malfunction affects Fusion sedans manufactured between 2013 and 2016 and Escape SUVs manufactured in 2013 and 2014. In all, the recall includes approximately 550,000 cars.

According to the automaker, the malfunction can occur when the attachment between the shifter cable and the transmission detaches. This could cause the shifter to move into a certain position when the car is actually operating in a different gear. Thus, the car may not be in “Park” even though the driver selected the “Park” gear. The car may subsequently roll away and risk crashing into another car.

Ford recommends that drivers use the parking brake when parking until the defect is repaired. The automaker also reminded drivers that they are able to remove their keys even if the car is stuck in another gear. The car does not contain a notification alarm or message system to notify the driver that the car is not in “Park.”

Dealers plan to replace the shifter cable at no charge. Owners of affected vehicles will be notified of the fix by July 30. The automaker reports that no collisions or injuries have occurred as a result of this defect.

The risk of rollaway in vehicles is a growing problem that has led to numerous recalls over many years. More than one million vehicles, including the Ford cars in this recall, were recalled for potential rollaway risks just in the past three months. In 2018, the NHTSA initiated 18 investigations related to rollaway defects. Ninety-three recalls were announced by automakers related to this problem.

But reports indicate that sudden rollaway has been a significant and persistent problem for decades. The causes of rollaway vary. Damaged parts like pawls and rods account for a large number of cases. In recent years, technological advancements have also been cited as a root cause of rollaway. New features, such as keyless ignition systems and electronic transmission gear shifts, have created hazards by making the gear position unclear. Certain mechanisms, such as Electric Parking Brakes, are available to help reduce the risk of rollaway in vehicles.

If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.

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