Recently, owners of certain Ford F-150 vehicles have registered complaints with local dealerships and Ford Motor Company about concerns over a potential defective automatic start/stop feature. While the start/stop feature is a nice feature designed to reduce fuel consumption and limit the impact driving has on the environment, a defective start/stop system raises serious safety concerns. Not only that, but it has a detrimental effect on the resale value of affected vehicles. Unfortunately, Ford Motor Company has yet to issue a formal recall, leaving vehicle owners to pay for the necessary repairs out-of-pocket or drive the truck as it is.
If you own a Ford F-150 and have noticed that your vehicle’s start-stop feature is not functioning properly, you do not need to accept Ford’s refusal to do anything to solve the problem. To learn more about bringing a legal claim against Ford in hopes of getting the company to make things right, please see our recent post on the topic here.
What Is the Ford F-150 Automatic Start-Stop Function?
The purpose of the automatic start-stop feature is to preserve fuel and protect the environment by limiting the amount of time that a vehicle remains at idle. For many, the feature is most noticeable when they pull up to a stop light because the truck shuts off. However, when it works properly, the start-stop feature then automatically restarts the truck once the driver applies even minimal pressure to the gas pedal.
Owners’ Complaints About the Defective Automatic Start-Stop Function on Ford F-150 Trucks
Some owners of Ford F-150 trucks report that their vehicle has suddenly stopped, died, or completely lost power without notice. Further, some customers complained that their vehicles stalled after the auto start-stop system was activated. These failures are dangerous anytime; however, they present additional hazards during heavy traffic where the start-stop feature is more frequently engaged.
Which Models and Years of Ford F-150s Are Impacted by the Potentially Defective Automatic Start-Stop Feature?
Ford reports that all Ford F-150s manufactured between 2018-2020 are equipped with the automatic start-stop feature. Thus, any of the following vehicles may have a potentially defective start-stop device installed:
Ford F-150 Raptor
Ford F-150 XL
Ford F-150 XLT
Ford F-150 King Ranch
Ford F-150 Platinum
Ford F-150 Limited
Symptoms of Defective Automatic Start/Stop System
Clearly, if your vehicle suddenly dies shortly after you engage the start-stop feature, that indicates a problem. However, some vehicle owners report that the potentially dangerous auto start-stop systems in Ford F-150s may show symptoms before failing. Those who own a Ford F-150 manufactured between 2018 and 2020 and notice any of the following symptoms should be aware that the problem may be related to a defective auto start-stop system.
The truck stalls mid-traffic,
The truck stalls after auto start-stop activates at a stop,
The truck’s engine fails to restart after auto start-stop activation or starts abnormally slowly, or
The truck’s dash is illuminated with malfunction warning signs.
Although the auto stop-start system is not perfect, under normal conditions, your truck should start and stop seamlessly. Defective auto-start systems are frightening and can present serious safety issues for drivers, passengers, and bystanders.
Will Ford Fix Replace a Defective Auto Start-Stop System for Free?
Unfortunately, many F-150 owners have reported being met with resistance when bringing their concerns to Ford Motor Company or local Ford dealerships. And, despite a significant number of consumer complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford Motor Company has yet to issue a recall for any potentially defective Ford F-150 vehicles. Whether Ford will recall, replace, or fix a faulty auto-start system depends on several factors, primarily whether the vehicle is still under a bumper-to-bumper warranty. In a best-case scenario, the manufacturer should replace or repair defective vehicles that are still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. However, barring a vehicle recall, it is unlikely that Ford will recall defective Ford F-150s outside the initial warranty period.
What Are F-150 Owners’ Options if They Have Their Start-Stop Feature is Malfunctioning?
If you own a Ford F-150 and your vehicle is experiencing problems with the automatic start-stop function, the device installed on your truck may be defective. However, Ford has yet to acknowledge any defect or issue a recall, meaning Ford doesn’t see this as a problem. Therefore, unless the company voluntarily agrees to compensate you, your only options are to pay out-of-pocket for the repair or live with the potentially dangerous malfunctioning auto start-stop system.
However, it is important that vehicle owners understand they also have a third option. By bringing a legal claim against Ford Motor Company, the company may be legally compelled to fix any defective devices. While filing a lawsuit against a giant auto manufacturer may seem like an uphill battle, there is the possibility of a Ford F-150 class action lawsuit that would allow similarly situated vehicle owners to band together, giving them strength in numbers. Those interested in learning more about an F-150 defective start-stop class action lawsuit should reach out to an attorney for assistance.