Action is immediately required when a wiper motor could potentially fail.
Ford has notified the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it is recalling around 550,000 examples of its top-selling F-150 full-size pickup truck in North America due to potentially non-functional windshield wipers due to a defective wiper motor.
Windshield wipers that don't work are a safety issue in rough weather like rain and sleet. Because this is a crash risk, the automaker is required by law to issue a recall.
All told, the Blue Oval is recalling 453,650 trucks in the US and another 103,076 in Canada. According to Ford, the problem can happen because high transient voltage spikes and poor quality wiper motor electrical terminals damage wiper motor-integrated circuit boards.
The recall specifically affects trucks built between January 8, 2020, and March 22, 2021. Fortunately, Ford says it is unaware of any related accidents or injuries. It's important to note that F-150s built at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant beginning on May 3, 2021, through September 10, 2021, are not included in this recall for one straightforward reason: they were built with a different wiper motor design because of the semiconductor chip shortage at the time.
Before this recall, several 2022 F-150 owners complained of windshield wiper problems. The most recent complaints happened in October and November, with owners rightly complaining the wipers failed to work in rainy weather.
It's been a troubling year for the truck as Ford issued eight recalls for the 2022 F-150 and 75 manufacturer communications to dealers. For 2021 models, there were 14 recalls and 272 manufacturer communications.
Aside from the F-150, Ford has issued 63 recalls this year alone. The Department of Transportation notes this is the highest number of any automaker in 2022. These recalls have affected a total of almost 8.1 million vehicles. Earlier this month, Ford recalled 47,000 Broncos with rearview camera issues.
How embarrassing is the recall situation for Ford? Let's put it this way: Ford has issued over three times as many recalls as GM this year.
Not only is this bad for Ford's quality reputation, but it's also quite expensive, costing the automaker billions. Ford CEO Jim Farley is well aware of the problem and has already taken action. He appointed new management not long ago, including a quality czar. Like every automaker, Ford invests heavily in electric vehicles, and the billions spent on recalls cannot continue at this rate.