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Keeping Up With Recalls for Our 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid

ford-f150-hybrid-supercrew-limited-2021-110-black-dynamic-exterior-rear-angle-truck 2021 Ford F-150 Limited Hybrid | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Cars.com’s 2021 Ford F-150 received a recall notice for loose or sagging underbody insulators, issued in late 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under campaign 21V986. The insulators could loosen and contact the aluminum driveshaft, increasing the risk of a driveshaft fracture and the possible loss of control; dealers are to reinforce the insulator attachments, inspect the driveshaft for damage and make any requisite repairs.

Related: What It’s Like to Live With the 2021 Ford F-150 for a Year

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We discovered the recall in our online Ford owner’s portal rather than the FordPass mobile app, which has previously alerted us to recalls on select press vehicles we’ve enrolled; we didn’t receive any alerts for the underbody insulators recall on our F-150. Still, we called the dealer and scheduled an appointment for a few days later for both the repair and BlueCruise activation (more on that soon).

Upon inspection, the service department confirmed that the insulation had, in fact, loosened and was contacting the driveshaft. When we visited the dealer later that afternoon, the service advisors had the truck on a lift and showed us the scoring, near the front axle. Barely noticeable to the naked eye, it was the sort of marking that wouldn’t raise alarm in a general inspection, the advisor said, but since it was under recall, they might as well get the driveshaft replaced. In the meantime, they’d reattached the insulation above it.

Three months went by with no report of our driveshaft arriving. We called the dealership a few weeks in, and a service representative told us the parts were in — only for us to drop the truck off and hear from our service advisor later on that the parts were still on back order, and whoever had answered the service line had miscommunicated.

While the parts were ready in May … we weren’t. In addition to its regular uses, we needed the F-150 as a support vehicle for comparison testing, among other things. The dealership’s service department was also fairly busy, and summer holidays played a role in the delay.

We were finally able to schedule an appointment for early July and were told to anticipate the F-150 being in the shop for a few days — mostly for the updates necessary to activate the BlueCruise hands-free driver assistance system. Our truck went in for service bright and early on July 5 and was ready by the morning of July 7.

We’ve reported many times about the pandemic and supply chain crisis’ effects on the automotive industry, including on vehicle service. And, while it’s clear that these issues delayed our truck’s fixes to some extent, some of this delay was on us.

With the truck back in our hands, we haven’t noticed any driveshaft-related issues and have started to track our experiences with its (finally) activated BlueCruise system. We’ll have more on the latter after we log some more miles with our hands off the wheel.

What’s next on our F-150 to-do list? We’ll be taking care of another recall and repairing a cracked side mirror.

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