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

Powertrain, lane departure, and structure issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Compact SUVs have grown in popularity, with the 2018 Lincoln MKC getting a lot of attention. While Lincoln uses the tagline “what a luxury car should be,” it’s clear that this vehicle didn’t make the cut, which is probably why it’s no longer in production. Maybe the discontinued SUV was deemed a loser because of the faulty powertrain, defective lane departure system or poorly-built structure.


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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Lincoln MKC

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Electrical System
Electronic Stability Control
Engine And Engine Cooling

Problems with the Powertrain

The powertrain is responsible for taking the energy from the motor and transferring it to the wheels. One of the main components in this system is the transmission, which appears to be giving Lincoln owners trouble. 

One NHTSA complaint says, “The contact owns a 2018 Lincoln MKC. The contact stated that on several occasions after the vehicle was parked with the engine turned off, the contact exited the vehicle and the vehicle started to roll away. Additionally, the contact attempted to reenter the vehicle but was unable to do so, and the contact fell and sustained several bruises and minor cuts. The contact was certain that the shift lever was switched to the Park position. The vehicle then crashed into a light pole. The vehicle was taken to [dealer] to be diagnosed, however the result was still pending. The damage to the vehicle was repaired, there was no additional repairs made to the vehicle.”

Transmission issues are foreign to Lincoln, according to the communications. Service Bulletin #20B27 talks about the transmission torque converter that overheats under “certain driving conditions.” When this happens, it causes a rough idle, low performance, as well as increased noise, vibration and harshness. To repair the problem, an internal transmission repair is required. Is this “what a luxury car should be?” It’s possible to get the same level of quality from a cheaper Ford vehicle.

Problems with the Lane Departure

Advanced driver-assist features are designed to protect occupants, but the Lincoln SUV seems to be using systems creating more danger.

Here is another NHTSA review. “The contact owns a 2018 Lincoln MKC. While driving approximately 65 mph, the lane departure safety feature activated to correct the vehicle from veering out of the lane. The lane departure feature steered the vehicle too far to the left, causing the vehicle crash into the median and flip over. The vehicle sustained severe front end damage, but the front air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an undisclosed location. The driver, front seat passenger, and rear driver side passenger all sustained head, neck and back injuries that required medical attention. The manufacturer and local dealer were notified of the failure, but the cause of the failure was undetermined. The failure mileage was 2,382.”

This situation is completely unacceptable, much like the brake recall that is putting people at risk. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V104000 states that some vehicles were equipped with the wrong front brake hoses. These parts are chafing against other components, thereby resulting in a fluid leak that could increase stopping time and might lead to an accident. Whether it is staying in its own lane or braking, the MKC can’t seem to perform basic safety functions, leaving a lot of people in danger. Maybe it’s best to stay far away from this SUV when it’s spotted on the road, just in case.

Problems with the Structure

As a luxury vehicle, every part should be well-constructed and durable, but that’s not what customers are finding. 

Just read this Edmunds review. “Would love my 2018 MKC Select, if not for the ongoing rattle/vibration noises in the dash, that the service department have been “unable to replicate” after having it serviced at the dealership twice for it.  Disappointing to have live with this issue with a brand new, luxury vehicle and it’s made me lose confidence in the overall quality.”

The structural issues get even worse. Service Bulletin #TSB 20-2171 goes on to discuss how some vehicles have seat pan looseness, clunking, thumping and lateral movement, especially during turns. It turns out the defect is found in the seat pan track, which requires a reinforcement be installed for proper security. Along with everything else going on with this SUV, who wants to deal with the seat shifting around while driving? Anyone watching from a different vantage point might think there are ants in the pants.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Anthony R

    Hello – I have a 2018 Lincoln MKC and was told my the Dealership (Hennessey Ford Lincoln Atlanta) that the short engine block needed to be repaired.

    March 19, 2022, the On-Board Diagnostics system detected an engine malfunction. I returned to Hennessy/Ford/Lincoln Atlanta for the necessary service (see – Invoice #FOCS21001). Results from the system diagnostic identified engine issues that included:
    o 1) Coolant Intrusion in spark plug cylinder,
    o 2) A Long Block issue/malfunction,
    o 3) Replacement of one (1) time use parts per TSB 19:2346,
    o 4) A directive to Reinstall the Engine Vacuum, etc.
    Per the Service Advisor, the issue was addressed/resolved.

    June 12, 2022, an additional malfunction (Engine icon) was detected via the On-Board Diagnostics system and per the Service Advisor, the diagnostics identified significant issues with the vehicles’ engine and transmission.

    September 2022, the Dealer stated the vehicles Computer Chip malfunctioned; therefore, a new chip was needed; however, parts were on back order due to the COVID-19.

    From June 2022 – December 2022 (approximately 180 days (6 months), the Dealer held my vehicle and stated the required parts were on “back order.” Once the manufactures bumper-to-bumper warranty expired Via date, the dealer returned my vehicle and communicated the issues were addressed.

    March 2023 – The vehicles On-Board Diagnostics system detected an engine malfunction, and I returned to the dealer to have the issue addressed.

    As of April 11, 2023, the dealer has the vehicle and has not communicated the how the Engine Issue will be addressed.

    Additional issues that I have experienced with Hennessey Ford Lincoln Atlanta are:
    • Loaner Vehicle #1 – Expired Tags, Uninsured, and identified via Fulton County Police Department as “Seized”

    • Loaner Vehicle #2 –Bio-Hazard Waste (Urine): Located underneath the passenger’s seat was a water bottled filled with urine (bio-hazard).

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