Ford Issues ‘Stop Sale' of the Electric Mustang Mach-E Over Possible Loss of Propulsion While Driving
Ford's first electric vehicle, the Mustang-inspired Mach-E SUV, launched last year with much fanfare as the first electric vehicle in the automaker's 100-plus year history. As Ford's first fully-electric vehicle, the Mach-E is considered a success, but the EV is not without its problems.
On Tuesday, Ford issued a "stop sale" for the electric SUV to address possible safety problems that could lead to the vehicle to become "immobile", CNBC reported citing a notice send to dealers.
The problem could cause the vehicle not to start or immediately lose propulsion power when driving, according to the dealer notice viewed by CNBC.
More specifically, the problem involves the potential overheating of the vehicle's high voltage battery main contactors, which is an electrically controlled switch for a power circuit. The issue can lead to a malfunction where the vehicle may not start, or immediately lose propulsion power while in motion, the notice sent to Ford dealers states.
Ford said the affected vehicles potentially include 2021 and 2022 Mach-Es models manufactured at Ford's Cuautitlan assembly plant in Mexico from May 27, 2020, through May 24, 2022. Ford manufactured roughly 100,000 Mach-E SUVs during the timeframe, but the potential problems involve around 49,000 vehicles, Ford spokesman Said Deep told CNBC.
Ford currently has no solution to address the problem, but added that a fix would be available by the third quarter of this year.
Deep told CNBC that the fix will include a remote, over-the-air software update to the vehicle's "Secondary On-Board Diagnostic Control Module and Battery Energy Control Module." Customers can also opt to take their vehicles to a local dealer to have the update performed.
Mustang Mach-E owners will be notified via mail after repair instructions and parts ordering information have been provided to dealers.
The problem with the Mach-E shows some of the difficulties legacy automakers are having transitioning to building fully-electric vehicles. But these potential safety problems can also hurt sales of other new fully-electric models.
Ford also had difficulty delivering the Mach E to customers due to the semiconductor shortages that resulted in long wait times. In February, the automaker shut down production of the Mach-E due to chip shortages.
Growing demand for the Mach-E also led Ford to close order books for the remainder of the year. In March Ford stopped accepting orders for the Premium and California Route 1 trim versions of the Mach-E.
In April, Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg told the Detroit Free Press that the automaker simply has too many orders coming in for the SUV. "Due to unprecedented demand, retail order banks are closed for the MY22 (Model Year 2022) in the U.S. We will continue to sell the limited number of units remaining from dealer stock. We will communicate MY23 (Model Year 2023) ordering details as soon as available."
The Ford Mustang Mach-E was also honored by Car and Driver with the "Electric Vehicle of the Year Award" in 2021, beating out some top-rated EV competitors such as Tesla's Model Y Performance, Model 3 Performance and the Audi e-tron.
Ford sold a total of 21,140 Mach-Es in 2021. The automaker reported sales of 6,734 Mach-Es in the first quarter of 2022.
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