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Hybrid Hiccups: Ford recalls hybrid vehicles over unexpected shifts into neutral

Toronto, Ontario — Ford Motor Company has revealed that it is recalling several hybrid models due to transmission problems that could cause certain vehicles to suddenly shift into neutral while moving as related to issues caused by a recent software update.

Affected models include the Ford Maverick, Ford Escape plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the Lincoln Corsair.

In the United States specifically, approximately 9,000 vehicles are affected, including around 8,369 Mavericks from the 2022 to 2024 model years; 277 Escape PHEVs from the 2020 to 2022 model years; and 81 Corsairs from the 2021 to 2023 model years.

According to Green Car Reports, the issue is related to the vehicles’ Hybrid Powertrain Control Module (HPCM) which was updated in January and may erroneously shift the drivetrain into neutral, thus causing the vehicles to coast to a stop and automatically go into park. Once shifted back into drive, the vehicles will then enter a ‘limp home mode’ that limits driving power to 48 km/h.

To rectify this issue, dealers will install updated HPCM software free of charge.

The automaker has not yet been notified of any accidents or injuries related to the defect, but concern exists about the vehicles being suddenly limited in speed or forced to stop on busy roads and highways.

Ford will begin contacting owners with affected vehicles at the end of the month.

At the time of writing, Transport Canada has not announced a similar recall, but will stay up-to-date on the potential issue.

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