Too Hot to Drive? Ford Recall of Mustang Mach-E May Not Prevent Overheating Electrical Contactors
The Ford Mustang Mach-E has quickly become a popular crossover EV for the long-time automotive giant. However, in a possible case of "flying too high, too soon," the Mach-E may be facing an irreparable problem.
In June 2022, Ford issued a recall--Safety Recall 22S41--for the 2021-2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E due to identified issues with the Secondary On-Board Diagnostic Control Module ("SOBDMC") and Battery Energy Control Module ("BECM"). According to Ford's recall documents (as filed with the NHTSA): "Direct Current ('DC') fast charging and repeated wide open pedal events can cause the high voltage battery main contactors to overheat." And an "overheated contactor that opens while driving can result in a loss of motive power, which can increase the risk of an accident."
Impacted cars may activate the "powertrain malfunction warning light" or the "Stop Safely Now" warning message, along with a loss of power.
For a car known for speed, this doesn't sound very "up to brand"--don't drive fast or charge fast.
The recall had called for an update to the SOBDMC and BECM software--an electrical fix that would simply monitor the contactor temperature and reduce the battery power to prevent damage to the vehicle. The recall does not identify any any "fix" to prevent the overheating in the first instance.
Then, in January 2023, Ford issued a Technical Service Bulletin ("TSB")--TSB 23-2020--instructing its dealerships to replace the high voltage battery junction box ("HVBJB") if a vehicle had an "illuminated malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) and/or powertrain malfunction (wrench) indicator with diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) P0563, P0ADA, P0ADE, P0AA1, P0AA4, P0AA5, P0AA2, P0D10, P0D0F, and/or P0C78 stored in battery energy control module (BECM) [and/or] a low/discharged 12V battery and/or display a Stop Safely Now message." Unfortunately, Ford has not explained (in its bulletin or elsewhere) why the HVBJB was failing--only that the HVBJB should be replaced.
However, all these efforts may be been futile as the NHTSA has received further reports from consumers of ongoing loss of power (even after the recall software updates and the HVBJB have been replaced). As of August 17, 2023, the NHTSA has opened an investigation--RQ 23-004--into this issue.
If you are an owner or lessee of one of the affected vehicles, and have taken it to Ford's dealer several times with concerns of loss of power, activation of the powertrain malfunction warning light, activation of the "Stop Safely Now" warning message, or any other related issues , give us a call to see whether your car may be a lemon. Contact us for a free consultation and see whether you're entitled to relief under the lemon law.