The Ford Motor Company has identified a critical safety issue affecting a select number of their 2022-2023 Super Duty trucks. This issue, concerning the front wheel hub extender, poses a significant risk to vehicle safety and has prompted a comprehensive recall.
Affected Models: The problem is specific to the following models:
Nature of the Problem:
The root of the issue lies in a fastener within the front wheel hub extender that may not have been sufficiently tightened. This lapse in proper fastening is attributed to a process error during equipment faults at the supplier's manufacturing facility. Specifically, the automated torque station responsible for tightening the front wheel hub extender retaining nuts had allowed prior torque data to be incorrectly written to a front wheel hub extender assembly in certain instances.
Loose front wheel hub extender retaining nuts can lead to noticeable vibration and noise while driving. More alarmingly, if the wheel hub becomes loose enough, it could result in the complete detachment of the wheel and wheel extender from the vehicle, posing a significant hazard.
Investigation and Discovery:
Ford's Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) initiated an investigation on October 19, 2023, following a field report of a wheel and wheel hub extender detachment on a 2023 Ford Super Duty vehicle during a low-speed maneuver. The vehicle experienced vibration prior to the detachment, but fortunately, no injuries were reported. Ford's subsequent review of the axle supplier’s assembly processes and production records pinpointed the specific instances of concern at the supplier’s manufacturing facility. This allowed Ford to trace suspect wheel hub extenders by axle serial number to specific vehicle VINS.
Recall and Repair Measures:
As of November 1, 2023, Ford is aware of one field report related to this issue. In response, Ford has issued a recall, designated as 23S59 by Ford and 23V-758 in the NHTSA campaign. Owners of the affected vehicles are advised not to drive their vehicles until the necessary repairs have been performed. Dealers will inspect the front wheel hub extender retaining nuts on these trucks. If the retaining nuts are found to be loose, dealers will replace the wheel hub extender, retaining nuts, and hub assembly.
This recall underscores the critical importance of stringent quality control in vehicle manufacturing, especially in components critical to vehicle safety. It also highlights the responsiveness and responsibility of manufacturers in addressing potential safety hazards, ensuring the safety and reliability of their vehicles for consumers.