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Detroit Free Press
More than 1,000 customers who thought they would buy a new 2022 all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E this year and qualify for a $ 7,500 tax refund could have a nasty surprise.
Ford Motor Co. has alerted its dealers to the need to repair seat belts on certain new Mach-E SUVs, triggering a suspension of all new, undelivered vehicles built from Oct.5 to Nov. 18, according to a letter obtained by Free Press .
Ford spokesman Said Deep confirmed Monday that 2,304 Mach-E vehicles are affected by the recall. Of that number, 741 are in the hands of customers and 1,563 are pending by dealers, he said.
“We can understand the disappointment of customers if they were going to apply the credit” on their 2021 calendar year taxes, Deep told The Free Press. “However, delivering quality vehicles continues to be a top priority.”
Customers can still claim the federal tax credit, it could just move to calendar year 2022 for some buyers, Deep said.
The credit is applied to the year a vehicle is delivered and not ordered.
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Currently, vehicles may have a rear seat belt that could come off and fail to restrain an occupant in an accident.
The letter, sent by David Johnson, director of service engineering operations for Ford’s customer service department, tells dealers that there is a new vehicle demo and a delivery wait on both the Mach-E 2022 and the 2022 Ford Maverick built between October 6 and October 20. 20.
Deep has confirmed that 318 Maverick pickups are affected by the recall. Of these, 145 have already been delivered to customers.
There are no known accidents or injuries related to this issue, Deep said Monday afternoon.
âDO NOT DEMONSTRATE OR DELIVER any new vehicles in stock involved in this compliance recall. A complete Dealer Bulletin will be provided to Dealers the week of January 3, 2022 when it is anticipated that parts ordering information and repair instructions will be available to support this compliance recall. “
Dealers should only open a repair order when a full dealership bulletin is issued. Opening a repair order in response to the notice letter sent Friday “will result in warranty disclaimers against recall.”
These vehicles need a rear seat belt anchor wire repair, according to the letter.
Affected vehicles may not meet federal crash safety requirements because, according to the letter, “the rear floor assemblies were produced with tapping plates which may have oversized extruded bolt holes used for secure the rear seat belt buckles. The oversized extruded bolt holes can decrease the strength of the fastener joint causing improper attachment of the rear seat belts during loading. “
In this case, the compliance recall reflects the fact that a supplier produced steel plates with extruded bolt holes that did not meet specifications, Deep said.
$ 21,000 penalty risk
Dealers cannot declare these vehicles sold until the work is completed.
If a vehicle is delivered to an unrepaired buyer or lessee, the dealership could face civil penalties of up to $ 21,000 per vehicle, Ford included in its letter.
Owners of these new vehicles will be notified by First Class Mail after Ford provides dealers with repair instructions and parts ordering information.
The latter situation is another headache for buyers who are forced to deal with delays caused by supply chain challenges as well. Dealers tell the Free Press that everyone has so much trouble with so much stuff these days that it’s hard to keep track.
The letter sent Friday night was at the center of concerns for Ford customers over the weekend on social media, including Reddit.
On a Mach-E Reddit site with 4,800 members, comments included:
- “So let me understand correctly, the same (Mustang Mach-E) that comes to me from Kansas will not be given to me even if it is received by the dealership before the end of the year,” wrote notmygoodys.
- “That’s bad. Put the deposit on AWD Premium on the sticker in the middle of nowhere in 3 states. Credit approved. Current car sold. I bought a plane ticket to the nearest airport for Tuesday and I was driving home. No idea what to do now. May ‘I won’t bet, I won’t get the tax savings, but that’s part of the change that I am now. Ford knows surely that can’t wait, can it? âFsuga00 wrote.
- “This explains why my MME has been in a marshalling yard since 10/28, my original ETA from 11/21/11/27 was changed by 1 / 3-1 / 9, and I have no confidence that I will actually take delivery of the new lineup. Waiting another year for the tax cut also stinks. Brutal, âoadesign wrote.
The discussion on Reddit noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had not posted the recall on his website again. The Ford letter lists the situation as a 21C36 compliance recall.
The Mustang is built at the Cuautitlan Assembly Plant in Mexico and the Maverick is built at the Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant in Mexico.
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(This story has been updated to reflect new numbers from Ford.)