Lemberg Law is investigating complaints about problems with the windshield wiper recall for the 2021 Ford F-150. Some vehicle owners are reporting that the parts needed for the recall repair are not available. Others are complaining that their wipers have failed but their vehicles are not covered by the recall.
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Is There a Problem with the Wiper Recall?
There are several problems that relate to the recall of 66,373 Ford F-150 pickup trucks due to faulty windshield wipers.
Many owners who have received notification of the recall are finding that the parts needed for recall repair are not available. Many more are finding that their wipers are defective but aren’t covered by the recall.
One complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that while his vehicle wasn’t covered by the recall, Ford agreed to replace the faulty parts under warranty. But, Catch 22, the dealership is unable to get the parts because they are (supposedly) going to recall vehicles.
Reasons for the Windshield Wiper Recall
According to Ford’s Defect Information Report filed with the NHTSA, problems with wiper arms not working, coming loose, or detaching were detected on Ford Expedition vehicles in August 2021. The issue was that splines in the wiper arms were stripped and assembly alignment keys were either missing or had fallen out.
Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group found that some parts of the wiper arms were not to specification. They also discovered that Ford F-150, Super Duty, and Medium Trucks, as well as Lincoln Navigators, had the same wiper arms. Further investigation revealed that tooth head casting wasn’t being correctly measured for the wiper arms.
By February 25, 2022, they had received hundreds of reports of inoperative or detached windshield wiper arms. Of these, 76 were on the 2020 Ford F-150 with 41 reports that certain 2021 F-150 vehicles had been built with a higher torque wiper motor than specified. This was due to chip shortage issues.
An NHTSA defect notice dated April 14, 2022, states that a total of 652,996 vehicles are potentially involved. Of these, 66,373 are 2021 Ford F-150 pickup trucks.
The document states: “Affected vehicles are equipped with suspect wiper arm head spline teeth that were produced out of design specification and with higher torque wiper motors.”
In a summary of the recall, NHTSA Campaign No: 22V250000 confirms that the “windshield wiper arms may break, causing the windshield wipers to fail.” Because of the safety risk, owners were notified that dealers would replace both front windshield wiper arms free of charge.
This notification also states that they expect parts to be available during the third quarter of 2022.
What Problems are Owners Experiencing with the Wiper Recall?
In its letter to affected 2021 F-150 owners, Ford points out the risk of faulty windshield wipers. “A wiper arm that becomes inoperable and/or separated from the vehicle can result in reduced visibility in certain conditions, increasing the risk of crash.”
This letter states that the parts were anticipated to be available late in the second quarter of 2022.
Following complaints to the NHTSA as recently as August 4, 2022, dealers confirm that the parts for the recall repair are still not available. The VIN tool also confirms to individual owners that the parts are not available. All these complainants state that the manufacturer has exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair.
While some F-150 owners who have responded to the recall notice have not experienced a failure, others have. Additionally, a large number who have experienced wiper failures have been told that their vehicles don’t qualify for the recall.
An owner from New Jersey states in a complaint that after learning the parts for the recall weren’t available, his front windshield wipers failed. He was driving at 65 mph in the rain when they became inoperable. The owner “took the vehicle to (the) local dealer, where it was diagnosed with needing the windshield wiper motor and the blades to be replaced. The dealer replaced the blades but the windshield wiper motor parts were not available.”
Wiper Failure Complaints
The first complaints to the NHTSA were made in late August after Ford had identified the problem. Nevertheless, an owner in Wisconsin states that a technician at a Ford dealership tried to help but couldn’t resolve the issue.
“We had to stop driving for the night and wait for the storm to pass. We had 2 kids in the car and were trailering a 21 ft camper. We nearly crashed after the trucks splashed water all over the windshield.”
An owner from Virginia states in a complaint dated April 8, 2022: “On three separate occasions, the windshield wipers failed to operate as needed without warning.” After the second failure the owner took the vehicle to an independent mechanic where a fuse was replaced. “However, the failure returned despite the repair.” The owner then took the vehicle to a dealer “where they acknowledged that the wiper failure was a known issue. However, replacement parts were not available.”
An owner from Georgia is one of many whose vehicle is not included in the recall.
“The windshield wiper arms are defective as pieces of metal from the splines have come off and I do have them. I asked the dealership to check it when I had the last recall and oil change and evidently they didn’t.”
After calling Ford customer service, the owner was told the vehicle wasn’t covered under the recall.
“Evidently they don’t understand that there are more vehicles with the problem as mine is very evident.” But they could see that parts had fallen out of the wiper arms. “They said that they can replace it under warranty but are not able to get the parts as they are going to the recall vehicles.”
What to Do If Ford Cannot Honor the 2021 Ford F-150 Wiper Recall?
If Ford cannot provide the parts to honor your recall, or say your faulty wipers aren’t covered by the recall, contact Lemberg Law. All you have to do is call us for a free case evaluation or simply fill out our contact form. We will then assess your case. If we go to court, the law says that Ford will have to pay the legal fees for your claim.