Ford F-150 Owners Raise Claims of Defective Automatic Start-Stop Feature

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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.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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