The Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 42,000 Super Duty F250 and F350 over a mechanical issue that can increase the crash risk.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the left rear axle shaft on affected models "may have been improperly heat-treated" during manufacturing and may break. The recall covers certain 2023 models equipped with single rear wheels and a 10.5-inch rear axle shaft.
A broken axle shaft can cause "loss of drive power or vehicle rollaway" when the truck is placed in park. "Either of these scenarios can increase the risk of a crash," according to NHTSA.
The failures were brought to Ford's attention on Aug. 10, after the Kentucky Truck Plant identified the problem through monitoring of warranty claims, according to Ford's defect notice to NHTSA.
"Two axle shafts returned through warranty were sent to Ford's metallurgical lab for failure analysis," the report said. "Laboratory analysis determined that the axle shafts did not meet Ford’s torsional yield and case depth design specifications in the fractured area. Each of the warranty returned parts had fractured at approximately 44 mm from the flange, indicating an area of incomplete induction heat treatment."
By Aug. 14, seven warranty reports were attributed to the axle shaft issue. Ford's Field Review Committee approved a field action on Aug. 18.
Customers should bring their F250 and F350 trucks into their local dealership, which will inspect the left rear axle shaft date code and replace the part if necessary, free of charge, officials said.
Ford is required to send truck owners a notification letter, which is expected to be mailed on Oct. 16.
Those with a 20023 Ford Super Duty F250 or F350 truck can search the NHTSA's database for new recalls. The website allows the public to search for safety issues with their vehicle using your vehicle identification number, or VIN.
Owners can contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. The number for Ford's recall is 23S49.
Earlier this year, Ford conducted a recall of 870,701 F-150 trucks in the U.S. for a wiring issue with their electric parking breaks.
In a safety recall report to the NHTSA, the vehicle company said contact with the rear axle housing may damage a wiring harness, which could lead to unexpected activation of the electric parking brake.
The 870,701 trucks potentially affected belong to the 2021 through 2023 model years and feature single exhaust systems. Production of the recalled vehicles happened over roughly three years.
People who own the affected F-150 trucks will receive letters informing them of the recall and the fix for the issue beginning Sept. 11, the same date dealers will get notification, according to the report.
The recall report indicated nearly 300 of more than 900 warranty and field reports for the wire chafing issue included an unintentional electric parking brake activation. Nineteen of those incidents happened with a driver operating a truck, it said.
Neither issue resulted in any known injuries or crashes, according to the reports.