Lemberg Law is investigating complaints regarding problems with the damaged driveshaft recall relating to the 2021 Ford F-150. Vehicle owners are reporting that eight months after the recall they still can’t get the parts needed for the repair.
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Is There a Problem with the Driveshaft in the 2021 Ford F-150?
Yes, there is a major problem relating to the December 2021 recall on F-150 driveshafts. In August 2022, more than eight months after the safety recall notification was sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the parts needed to fix the problem are still not available.
Complaints to the NHTSA state that the manufacturer has exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs. It is, after all, a safety recall that has been instituted because the problem can increase the risk of a crash.
There are potentially as many as 184,698 2021-2022 Ford F-150 vehicles affected by the driveshaft problem. The estimate is that about 10% of these are affected by the defect. That’s a lot of trucks.
Also, the fact that a fractured driveshaft can cause not only a loss of drive power but a loss of vehicle control is a serious cause of concern. The longer the potential problem goes unfixed, the greater the risk of people getting hurt.
Reasons for the Ford F-150 Driveshaft Recall?
The safety recall report issued by the NHTSA on December 16, 2021, states that the vehicles affected by the driveshaft are 4 x 4 145-inch wheelbase Crew Cabin configurations. They are in the above-equipment group and sound insulation package and are equipped with an aluminum driveshaft.
The main issue is that the underbody thermal/acoustic insulators may loosen and contact the aluminum driveshaft. If this happens, the driveshaft may be scored or marked. Over time, this can result in the driveshaft fracturing because of heat build-up. Reduction of the thickness of the material can also change the mechanical properties of the aluminum.
That’s a fairly technical overview. What happens, though, is that inadequate adhesion of the vehicle insulators to the underbody of the vehicle can result in the insulators loosening and sagging.
The safety risk is that a fractured driveshaft can result in a loss of motive power while driving. It can also cause unintended vehicle movement when the vehicle is in Park without the parking brake being applied. This can result in secondary damage to other components around the driveshaft.
As the report states: “A fractured driveshaft may also contact the ground which may cause loss of control of the vehicle while driving. A fractured driveshaft increases the risk of injury or crash.”
Drivers might see a loose underbody insulator. Otherwise, they might hear rattling, clicking, or clunking noises caused by the loose underbody insulator contacting the driveshaft. Sometimes the marking or scoring of the driveshaft is visible.
What Problems are 2021 Ford F-150 Owners Experiencing with the Driveshaft Recall?
This 2021 Ford F-150 recall was issued on December 16, 2021, under NHTSA Campaign No: 21V986000. Owners were warned that vehicles were being recalled because of the risk of a crash.
It states: “Underbody heat and noise insulators may loosen and contact the aluminum driveshaft, which could damage the driveshaft and cause it to fracture.”
Letters were mailed to affected F-150 owners on February 4, 2022, stating that dealers would inspect and repair drive shafts “as necessary.” They would also attach the underbody insulators correctly. All work is to be carried out at no charge.
But owners are finding that the parts aren’t available for the recall repair. Some complain that there is a “parts distribution disconnect,” while others say that the VIN tool confirms the parts aren’t available.
Quite a lot of Ford F-150 owners say they haven’t experienced issues (yet), but there are others that have. Here are some quotes from a couple who have had problems and can’t get them fixed.
An owner from Colorado found out about the recall in June 2022. After discovering that the recall repair wasn’t available yet, “he noticed that the underbody heat and noise insulators had detached and were hanging on the ground.
“The vehicle was taken to the dealer who informed the contact that the parts were not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and a case was opened. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 7,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available.”
An owner from Washington states that “while driving at various speeds, a humming and tapping sound was present coming from the rear undercarriage of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer who diagnosed that the underbody insulator was faulty and had caused damage to the driveshaft.”
Although the vehicle wasn’t repaired, the manufacturer (Ford) was notified of the failure. According to the complaint, the vehicle had been inspected before under the NHTSA Campaign Number 21V986000 (Power Train, Structure). But this didn’t help because “the vehicle experienced a failure after the inspection. The failure mileage was 26,836.”
What to Do If Ford Cannot Honor the 2021 Ford F-150 Driveshaft Recall?
If you’ve got problems with the driveshaft recall for your 2021 Ford F-150, contact Lemberg Law. We will assess your case free of charge, and if your car is a lemon, we can help.
Fill out our contact form or give us a call. Never forget that the law says Ford must pay the legal fees for lemon law cases.
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.