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NHTSA Is Investigating Ford Over Its Backup Camera Recall

The agency doesn’t think the company acted quickly enough in its recall

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An F-150 and its Pro Trailer Backup Assist
An F-150 and its Pro Trailer Backup Assist
Image: Ford

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its eyes on Ford. Not for something it didn’t do, but for something that it didn’t do fast enough, as the Associated Press reports. The agency is investigating whether Ford acted quickly enough during its backup camera recall last year.

In 2020, Ford initiated a recall of over 600,000 Ford and Lincoln vehicles. It affected everything from Escapes to Corsairs to Mustangs. The problem was with the camera itself. When put in reverse, the camera image became distorted or would just not show up at all. The problem was traced back to a poor connection in the camera.


The recall went through phases, first being noticed by Ford early last year through warranty claims. From there it went internal until the agency tipped Ford off about an increasing number of people complaining about their vehicles. Via the AP:

The agency said Ford spotted the problem and monitored warranty claims starting in February of 2020. The problem went to an internal Ford safety committee in May.

In July, the agency told Ford about an increasing trend of complaints about the cameras. At an August meeting, Ford showed the agency data showing high failure rates on some of the models.


Now, the NHTSA is not only looking into whether Ford acted fast enough, it’s also looking at whether or not the company was sufficiently thorough. Some vehicles may not have been picked up by the recall. It’s not clear whether or not this investigation will look at the recent recall in April of the Lincoln Aviator and its backup camera. That’s another 35,000 vehicles, as Consumer Reports noted in April:

The automaker says that “the image processing module may be intermittently unable to provide a video feed to the display screen.” As a result, the driver will not benefit from the backup camera when the Aviator is in Reverse, as is now required.

The action involves 34,975 SUVs built at the Chicago Assembly Plant from Oct. 19, 2018, to Dec. 7, 2020.

Ford says it’s cooperating with the investigation.