WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- U.S. safety regulators are investigating whether Ford Motor Co. went far enough with a recall of Super Duty pickups over complaints that they can stall and leave drivers stranded.
The investigation covers about 200,000 vehicles from the 2011 and 2012 model years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a notice posted to its website Saturday. The action covers the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550. The trucks, which feature a 6.7 liter turbo-diesel engine, can sell for as much as $69,250, according to the automaker’s website.
One owner reported that a warning light indicated “Stop Safely Now” while driving and the truck lost all throttle response. It wouldn’t crank and had to be towed to a dealer for repair.
“It was not even an engine component,” the vehicle owner told NHTSA. “It is programming alone that prevented moving the truck to a safe location. What if this was a railroad grade crossing?”
An exhaust-gas sensor behind the diesel particulate filter in the trucks’ exhaust systems may malfunction, leading to warnings and sudden engine shutdowns, NHTSA said in its notice. The agency said it’s acting on the basis of 30 consumer complaints.
Ford recalled about 3,000 Super Duty trucks in October 2013, specifically models that had been sold to be customized as ambulances. In that situation, vehicles would emit audible chimes five times before shutting down. The trucks couldn’t be immediately restarted, according to NHTSA.
The regulator said it’s continued to get complaints about trucks covered by that recall, as well as others that weren’t. Some customers reported that sensors have been replaced multiple times and that their trucks became disabled in the roadway, the agency said.
A Ford spokeswoman, Kelli Felker, said the company would cooperate with NHTSA on the investigation.