Recall alert: Ford recalls 550,000 F-150 pickup trucks because of transmission issue

Ford said the shift can happen no matter how fast the trucks are going.

Ford is recalling more than 550,000 pickup trucks in the U.S. because the transmissions can unexpectedly downshift to first gear, according to the company.

Ford said the shift can happen no matter how fast the trucks are going, The Associated Press reported.

The recall covers certain 2014 F-150 pickups.

According to documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the downshifting transmission problem can cause drivers to lose control of the trucks, increasing the risk of a crash.

The recalls come after U.S. auto safety regulators in March began investigating complaints that more than 540,000 Ford pickup trucks from 2014 can abruptly downshift to a lower gear and increase the risk of a crash.

According to Ford, the problem is caused by a lost signal between a transmission speed sensor and the powertrain control computer. There also could be corrosion and problems with connector pins.

The auto dealer says it knows of 130 complaints to the government, with 52 alleging that rear wheels locked up or that drivers lost control of the trucks.

Owners will be notified by letters about the issue and dealers will update the software at no cost.

In a statement Tuesday, Ford said it expects repairs to be available in the third quarter of this year, according to AP.

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