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Ford recalls nearly 49,000 Mustang Mach-Es over battery safety issues

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The EV could fail to start or become immobile while in motion due to a battery malfunction

Photo by Sean O’Kane / The Verge

Ford issued a recall for over 48,000 Mustang Mach-E electric crossover over concerns that a safety defect may render the vehicle immobile, the automaker said in a notice. The issue was first reported by CNBC.

According to the recall, the malfunction involves a potential overheating of the vehicle’s battery high-voltage contactors, which can lead the vehicle to fail to start or lose power while in motion. “An overheated contactor that opens while driving can result in a loss of motive power, which can increase the risk of an accident,” the notice reads.

Ford says 48,924 Mustang Mach-E vehicles sold in the US are affected by the problem — nearly half of the estimated 100,000 vehicles produced during that time. It’s the latest hiccup to affect Ford’s rollout of its mass-market electric vehicle that has helped propel the automaker to second place in EV sales behind Tesla.

The affected vehicles include model year 2021 and 2022 vehicles built between May 27th, 2020, and May 24th, 2022, at the automaker’s Cuautitlan plant in Mexico. Ford sent a notice to its dealers as well, warning them not to deliver any Mustang Mach-Es to customers until a software fix has been issued.

A spokesperson, Said Deep, said a recall has also been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, though it has yet to be posted on the agency’s website. There are no current safety investigations underway with NHTSA, Deep said.

Ford says the problem can be fixed with an over-the-air software update, which will be issued “next month.” Mustang Mach-E owners can also take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln dealership for a more immediate software fix.

“Ford has not issued instructions to stop driving vehicles under this safety recall,” Deep said.

The recall comes during a crucial time for Ford’s electrification strategy, with the first F-150 Lightning trucks reaching customers in recent weeks. The company reports selling 6,254 electric vehicles in May 2022, representing a 222 percent year-over-year increase and about 4.2 percent of Ford’s total sales volume. The Mustang Mach-E represents the bulk of those May sales, or 5,179 vehicles.

This isn’t the first speed bump in the Mustang’s short history. Ford was delayed in rolling out the EV in spring 2021 for extra quality checks. The automaker has also issued a handful of recalls for unintended acceleration, improperly attached seatbelts, and loose subframe bolts — amid other problems.

Update June 14th, 11:38AM ET: A spokesperson said the problem affects 48,924 Mustang Mach-E vehicles sold in the US — nearly half of the estimated 100,000 vehicles produced during that time. A previous version said nearly all of the vehicles could be affected.

The story has also been updated to include a quote from Ford’s spokesperson regarding the company not including a stop-driving notice in its recall.

Update June 14th, 12:19PM ET: The headline of this story has been updated to emphasize the recall over the dealer notice.