AFTER WAITING 50 years to get their hands on a Mustang in Ford showrooms across Britain, fans could barely contain their excitement when the Mustang went on sale in late 2015 and rushed to be among the first to own the cult muscle car. But owners in the US have discovered that the recently facelifted Mustangs fitted with the latest 10-speed automatic gearbox can roll away when left parked.
In America, Ford dealers are checking 2,100 Mustangs for the dangerous safety issue.
The new generation of 10-speed automatic transmission, known as the 10R80, was highlighted as one of the main improvements of the improved, 2018 Mustang. But a glitch during development has led to a potentially dangerous fault surfacing.
Ford says “Without a visual or audible warning to the driver that the vehicle is in Park, the vehicle may roll away after it has been exited if the parking brake has not been applied, increasing the risk of injury or a crash.”
The company goes on to explain that if the ignition is turned off when the transmission is not in the ‘Park’ position, the instrument cluster may not illuminate the ‘PRNDL’ gear position display and the driver may not be alerted that they have left the key in the ignition, when the driver’s door is opened.
At the same time, some vehicles are missing a pin which means the automatic transmission may eventually lose its park function. It means the car could roll away if left without the handbrake applied.
Because of the glitch, the automatic Mustangs fail to comply with the requirements of a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard which sets standards for securing a car using the automatic transmission and for guarding against theft.
The company says it will update the software for the instrument display, and a spokesman told Driving.co.uk it was confident no UK Mustangs would be affected.
Despite being hailed for bringing driving pleasure to British motorists at a competitive price, the car has hit the headlines in the past for the wrong reasons, after performing poorly in crash test results.
Euro NCAP, the European body that assesses new cars’ safety, awarded the latest Mustang just two stars out of five. Rival models such as the Audi A5 coupé scored the maximum five-star safety rating.
The safety organisation heavily criticised Ford for failing to fit European Mustangs with lifesaving safety equipment that is standard on versions sold in America. Ford responded by making improvements to the sports car.