Ford recalling 12,300 F-150 pickups

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it is recalling 12,300 2015 F-150 pickups because of a part in the steering mechanism that may have been improperly attached, causing it to come apart.

The Dearborn automaker said it is recalling the trucks in North America because an upper intermediate shaft, or I-shaft, might have been riveted improperly. That could result in the loss of steering control without warning, increasing the risk of a crash. Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries but knows of one report of loss of steering related to the problem.

The vehicles were built from March 19-30 at Ford’s Kansas City and Dearborn truck plants.

Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said the riveted parts are both steel — and were in the 2014 truck as well. She said the recall is not related to the company’s decision to make the new truck largely of aluminum.

In much of the F-150, rivets replace spot welds that are typically used in mostly steel bodies. The F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter than the 2014 version and 5 percent to 29 percent more fuel efficient, depending on engine and driveline configuration.

There are 12,328 pickups that might be affected in North America, including 8,963 in the U.S., 3,348 in Canada and 17 in Mexico. Of those, 6,722 vehicles are unsold, meaning 5,606 vehicles are in customer’s hands.

Dealers will inspect the upper I-shaft assembly and replace it if necessary.

Last month, Ford issued the first recall of the new F-150, recalling 91 trucks in North America for a potential issue with underbody heat shields that may be improperly installed or missing, increasing the risk of fire. Ford is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fires related to this condition. There are 73 vehicles in the U.S. and 18 in Canada. Dealers will inspect for missing underbody heat shields and fasteners and install missing components as needed.