The company tells federal safety regulators that a software problem recently triggered a chain of events that may have left some Explorer transmissions with damaged park functions.
Ford sent a remote code to late-model Explorers asking the vehicles to run a self-diagnostic program. The request was larger than the SUVs’ powertrain control module (PCM) computers expected. That forced the PCMs to restart. When they restart, they set the transmission to park.
Explorers that were parked when they got the code are fine. But Explorers that were in motion at the time may have sustained damage to their parking systems. Ford is aware of at least 70 warranty claims over damaged parking systems and two injuries that may have been caused by a parked Explorer that rolled away.
Owners might notice a wrench-shaped light on the dashboard if the incident damaged their transmission. But the shifter will still move into the park position, even though the vehicle may not be able to stop itself from rolling. The car may appear parked but still be capable of moving.
Dealers will inspect the parking system and replace any damaged components.
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