Ford Shifter Cable Bushing Recalls Failed, Alleges Lawsuit
Written by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
Published Jan. 13, 2023
Several Ford shifter cable bushing recalls have led to a class action lawsuit that alleges nearly 3 million vehicles are at risk of rolling away.
The Ford shifter cable bushing lawsuit was filed by New York plaintiff Sergio Diaz and Illinois plaintiff Retha Connors.
The plaintiffs do not claim their vehicles had any problems with the shifter cable bushings.
But both owners assert recall repairs offered by Ford will not fix their vehicles.
According to the class action, Ford issued multiple shifter cable bushing recalls because the bushings can degrade and detach, allowing a vehicle to roll away. It's also possible a driver won't know which gear the transmission is in by looking at the gear shifter indicator.
“A degraded shifter cable bushing that detaches from the transmission may allow the transmission to be in a gear state different than the gear shift position selected by the driver," Ford said.
Additionally, the “condition could allow the driver to move the shift lever to Park and remove the ignition key, while the transmission may not be in Park, with no warning message or audible chime.”
The Ford class action lawsuit includes these vehicles which were included in the shifter cable bushing recalls.
- 2013-2019 Ford Escape
- 2013-2016 Ford Fusion
- 2013-2018 Ford C-Max
- 2013-2021 Ford Transit Connect
- 2015-2018 Ford Edge
Ford was allegedly aware of the Hilex Hytrel 4556 bushing problems long before telling the public about the defects.
Ford Shifter Cable Bushing Recalls
The first Ford shifter cable bushing recall was announced in July 2018 for more than 504,000 vehicles equipped with 6F35 six-speed automatic transmissions. The shifter bushing recall included the 2013-2014 Ford Escape and 2013-2016 Ford Fusion.
According to Ford, the supplier applied a lubricant to the bushing that attaches the shifter cable to the 6F35 transmission, but over time the bushing could degrade.
Ford said improved replacement bushings would be installed.
Another Ford shifter cable bushing recall was announced in May 2019 for more than 259,182 model year 2013-2016 Ford Fusions equipped with 2.5-liter engines. Replacement shifter bushings were allegedly “of a different grade of material with heat stabilizer.”
Ford dealers were also told to insert a protective cap over the shift cable bushing to “protect against contaminants.”
Then in March 2021, Ford issued a technical service bulletin (TSB 21-2033) to dealerships, informing them “[s]ome 2013-2016 Fusion, 2013-2018 C-MAX, 2013-2019 Escape, 2014-2021 Transit Connect, and 2015-2018 Edge vehicles may indicate an incorrect shifter lever position.”
“This may be due to the bushing at the transmission end of the shifter lever cable resulting in a mismatch of cluster and selected gear position. To correct the condition, follow the Service Procedure steps to replace the bushing and install the protective cap over the selector at the transmission end of the selector lever cable," Ford said.
Ford told dealerships to replace the bushing and install a cap if the shifter didn't move the transmission to the proper shifter position, if there was a damaged or missing shifter bushing, or if there was a mismatch of the cluster and selected gear position.
A few months later Ford issued another recall for more than 192,000 Transit Connect vans. Ford dealerships were told to replace the shifter bushings and install protective caps on the 2013-2021 vans.