NHTSA investigates timing of Ford’s rearview camera system recall

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The agency says Ford spotted the problem seven months before actually recalling affected models

Ford is facing an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that’s focused on the timing of its rearview camera system recall, Automotive News reports.

The agency is reportedly looking into whether Ford acted swiftly enough when it recalled nearly 700,000 vehicles last year to fix faulty rearview cameras. The agency is also investigating whether the recall was far-reaching enough. 

Ford initiated the recall last September, saying the backup camera displays can show a blank or distorted image. The models covered in the recall included the Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, Mustang, Ranger, and Transit vans.

But according to documents posted on the NHTSA’s website, Ford was aware of warranty claims regarding the rear camera issue as early as February 2020. The problem was passed on to an internal safety committee at Ford on May 12, 2020, but Ford didn’t issue a recall until September. 

Now, NHTSA officials say they’re focused on finding out whether the recall was initiated quickly enough and whether it was sufficient in terms of scope. It’s also planning to look into Ford’s internal reporting policies to ensure that they’re in line with NHTSA standards. 

Ford said Friday that it is cooperating with investigators, but the automaker could face fines if the NHTSA determines that they are warranted. 

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