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Ford recalls 1.5 million F-150 pickups that can downshift without warning

Ford recalls 1.5 million F-150 pickups that can downshift without warning
Ford F-150 trucks at a Gilbert, Ariz., dealership in March 2011. (Matt York / Associated Press)

Ford is recalling nearly 1.5 million pickup trucks in North America because the transmissions can suddenly downshift into first gear.

The recall covers F-150 trucks from the 2011 through 2013 model years with six-speed automatic transmissions.

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The company says a glitch in sending a signal from the transmission speed sensor is the cause. Ford has had five reports of accidents, including one that caused a whiplash injury from a sudden downshift.

Owners will be notified by letter starting March 4. Dealers will update the powertrain-control software to fix the problem.

Ford’s F-Series pickup is the top-selling vehicle in the United States.

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