2018 Lincoln Continental Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, structure and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Luxury vehicles take on many shapes and sizes, but one that is highly recognizable is the 2018 Lincoln Continental. The newest lineup is supposed to help customers “meet the new face of Lincoln,” but it is causing people to jump ship to another brand instead. The defective electrical system, poorly built structure and malfunctioning engine are producing far too many problems for the average driver.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Lincoln Continental

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Back Over Prevention
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Exterior Lighting

Problems with the Electrical System

With a luxury model, the electrical system has to work much harder. With the addition of advanced safety tech and further amenities, this valuable set of components has a lot riding on it, but the Continental falls short of customer expectations.

One Edmunds user says, “Car was delivered (new-97 miles) 12/29/18. 1/7/19 – wouldn’t start, delivered with defective battery cell, replaced.  1/27/19 – wouldn’t start; ‘system shut down to protect battery’. 1/31-wouldn’t start again in shop. Had it since then, 2/13, told today that ‘Continentals have to be run less than every 3 days, as modules talk to one another, draining battery’.  I say:  BS.”

These aren’t the only concerns. In fact, Service Bulletin #SSM 47487 states that the front interior courtesy lamps can turn on uncommanded due to a fault in the circuit board. To correct this, either the overhead console equipment or the body control module needs to be replaced. In the meantime, drivers can receive instant illumination in the cabin without any warning. Wonder how they enjoy being a part of the spotlight while driving down the road?

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

No one can deny that the 2018 Lincoln Continental is an expensive model. It’s not a budget-friendly option, but is supposed to be distinctive and sleek. To create this persona, the structure must be built to last, but it’s not.

Here’s yet another Edmunds complaint that talks about structural-related worries among others. “No large American sedan choices so I ordered a Continental in March of 2018.  My husband picked all the bells and whistles he fell in love with from the TV commercials.  We waited until the end of July for the delivery.  Within the first few weeks, the ac went out.  Dealer probably goosed the Freon but it lasted until the weather changed.  Fourth month the trunk refused to respond, not to the fob, not to the dash button, not to the emergency pull in the trunk.  After TWO WEEKS in the shop and supposedly a latch change and a complete reprogramming of the car, dealer admitted that the car was ‘too new and no one knows much about it’… but they did get the trunk to work.  Month six, no more exterior sensor warning system or parking assist.  Decided to drive it from Virginia to Florida anyway and guess what we found in Florida, NO AC – again.  Dealer’s response, we verified the ac is not getting cold but couldn’t find a leak.”

It turns out that there is a lot more to worry than meets the eye. In fact, a massive recall was announced covering more than 27,000 vehicles. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V077000 states that the doors may open while driving because of a latch that doesn’t completely engage. Between the unexpected interior lights going on and doors opening while driving, this vehicle must look like a clown car when heading down the road.

Problems with the Engine

Beyond sexy style and high-end amenities, the motor is another aspect that must be looked at. After all, this vehicle needs to be reliable and dependable, considering the price point.

Yet, the engine is another top complaint. Here’s one from Edmunds dealing with the motor and much more. “I drove this from the selling dealer to my home, then directly to the repair shop!  My ‘new’ 2018 Continental Reserve was my worst new car experience out of 16 vehicles I have purchased! Very disappointed in its initial quality and multiple malfunctions which so far has the vehicle in the repair shop 3 weeks and counting to make it drivable. Switching from foreign to USA made vehicle seems to be a mistake!! My patriotic move to support USA made vehicles didn’t pan out!!  Very disappointed they did not replace the vehicle to make it right, rather was told I had to accept the extensively torn apart repaired vehicle!! Who knows what else I might find wrong with this ‘lemon!!!’ Drove a Continental from the selling dealer to the repair shop!! Pretty sad for a ‘luxury’ vehicle!!!.  Malfunctions/failures include Audio system malfunction, Speaker failure, Fuel system software, Oil pan leak, damaged drivers panel, Welcome lighting intermittent failure, Collision alert intermittent, Adaptable suspension iffy (drove similar Reserve and found much smoother).”

The customer comments don’t express the full gravity of what is going on with this model, but the manufacturer is happy to air all of its dirty laundry. With Service Bulletin #TSB 18-2255 it’s clear that the various engines made by the automaker are experiencing a dark black fluid leak coming from the right-side transfer case shaft seal. With this revelation, it’s clear that this is not a model that can be depended on. Even customers are calling the overpriced, malfunctioning vehicle a lemon.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Lincoln pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

CategoryBack Over Prevention
DateMar 16, 2023
The contact owns a 2018 lincoln continental. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 22v644000 (back over prevention) however, the part to do the recall repair was not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The dealer was made aware of the issue. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Vin tool confirms parts not available.
CategoryBack Over Prevention
DateMar 07, 2023
The contact owns a 2018 lincoln continental. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 22v644000 (back over prevention) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The local dealer was contacted and confirmed that the part was not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact stated that the back over prevention image displayed was very distorted. The failure mileage was unknown. Vin tool confirms parts not available.
CategoryBack Over Prevention
DateJan 27, 2023
The contact owns a 2018 lincoln continental. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 22v644000 (back over prevention) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the rear-view camera was foggy from the day the vehicle was purchased. The contact stated that he had not paid attention to the rear-view camera until he received notification of nhtsa campaign: 22v644000 (back over prevention). The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 25. Vin tool confirms parts not available. The contact stated that the backup camera is always foggy and cloudy during the day and night.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 11, 2022
On july 09, 2022 I delivered my vehicle to heller ford 700 main street el paso, il, (309) 527-6050 to have my original cabin air filter eeplaced with a unit which I supplied. Their technician performed a commendable removal of the original unit. He found the original motor craft cabin air filter had deteriated to a black fragmented crust which had clogged the blower motor to the extent the motor had to be removed and bown out, and reinstalled prior to the instillation of the new filter! I have no reservations against heller ford and it service facility staff, mine is with lincoln my car had 56,687 miles at the time of the service, the service manual recommends changes be made at 20,000 - 30,00 miles. My vehicle is highway driven no city stop and go traffic, I asked the sevice staff if they ever seen a cabin air filter in such shape- they said no I purchased my vehicle from sutton lincoln/ford in 2018 new off the lot and this vehicle is used for 100% pleasure driving. I feel the cabin air filter was defective when it was installed at the factory! I contacted lincoln way - case # 37545937 c/o joan turetsky claim service mgr. Little of no help (1-800 - 521-4140) I feel I should be reimbursed for my efforts due to a defective filter
CategoryLatches/locks/linkages:doors:latch, Unknown Or Other
DateJan 22, 2022
The electric door latching mechanisms fail to fully latch the driver's door shut when pulled to the first detent. In order to fully engage the door latches, it was necessary to slam the door. The first occurrence coincided with unusually cold weather (34 degrees f). These door latches had previously been the subject of a recall which first delayed the dealer's ability to sell the car to me. Then, suddenly, even though the parts were reportedly still unavailable, the dealer claimed to have been able to use company connections to obtain parts early and claimed to have carried out the recall before selling me the car in april 2019. About a year later, the latches malfunctioned, draining the car's battery over the course of about two days, after which, the same dealer "reprogrammed" the latches and replaced the battery. Now trouble with the same door latches emerges again.
DateOct 23, 2020
The wiper and washers do not operate as intended. Operation is sporadic. Washers do not respond to the control. They turn on by themselves, usually after starting the car and will empty the washer fluid reservoir. The wipers do not respond to the controls. They too may turn on at anytime on their own. But they do not turn on when you operate the switch to turn them on. These occurrences happen regardless of the car being in park or in gear. After 2 weeks in the dealership, they have been unable to solve the problem and have been replacing various parts, trial and error, to no avail.
CategoryElectrical System
DateJun 08, 2020
Random problems with multiple electrical areas; approach lights not coming on, instrument cluster deprograming presets, interior lights, outside mirrors folding when programmed not to do so, interior rear view mirror markedly changing position, hud malfunctioning. Lincoln tells me that I am not driving it enough and the battery is going down. That then makes the computer to malfunction. The latest attempt to remedy this is the installation of a tricle charger. The connection to it hangs out a hole in the grill where I suspect it will beat my bumper to pieces. They now tell me that I must store the fob no less than 50 feet from the car so that the fob talking to the computer will run the battery down. *tr
CategoryElectrical System, Exterior Lighting, Unknown Or Other
DateMay 13, 2020
Instrument cluster deprograms itself, interior lighting stopped working, folding exterior mirrors fold themselves without command to do so,rear view mirror changes it setting without command, hud flashes multicolor lights onto windshield viewing area, approach lighting stopped working. Sync3 was programmed to display map on startup but recently came up with different setup. All occurred while vehicle was stationary. Began 12/11/2018 until present. *tr
DateDec 13, 2019
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 lincoln continental. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 19v077000 (latches/locks/linkages). The contact called bill knight lincoln volvo at 918-526-2509 (located at 4111 s memorial dr, tulsa, ok 74145) and was informed that the parts were not available. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue and was not able to confirm when the parts were to become available. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
DateApr 05, 2019
2018 lincoln continental. Consumer writes in regards to door latch safety recall. *ld *tr *dt consumer feels he was sold a defective vehicle which committed violations in his sales transaction, purchase date 02/07/19. Manufacture and dealer was contacted and they said they were not aware of recall prior to 02/07/19.*jb
DateMar 22, 2019
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 lincoln continental. After the contact purchased the new vehicle, it was later discovered that the vin was included in nhtsa campaign number: 19v077000(structure). The contact indicated that the vehicle was delivered as new with an open recall. Nick mayer lincoln westlake (24400 center ridge rd, westlake, oh) and the manufacturer were notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. *bf *tr

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Ken c

    Got my 2018 continental on new years eve.had 2 different tires on it,rode like a dam truck.got it back week latet,later, better.3 weeks ago,started car,put in reverse,sounded like an airplane was in rear window.noise didn’t stop until I drove forward a few hundred feet.also,trunk slams shut with loose,raggedy sound.i keep being told they are waiting on a new rear shade,bit 3 weeks??I do fear that this car has a serious electrical problem.

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