Ford alerts feds to battery problem in early model 2021 Mustang Mach-E

Early models of the all-electric 2021 Mustang Mach-E have a battery issue that may leave owners struggling to start their vehicles despite its being fully charged, according to a technical service bulletin that Ford sent to federal regulators. “Bad software is turning some Mustang Mach-Es into ‘electric bricks,’ ” said a headline in […]

Early models of the all-electric 2021 Mustang Mach-E have a battery issue that may leave owners struggling to start their vehicles despite its being fully charged, according to a technical service bulletin that Ford sent to federal regulators.

“Bad software is turning some Mustang Mach-Es into ‘electric bricks,’ ” said a headline in TheVerge.com, a tech website that first reported news of the Mach-E battery problem Thursday. The brick term has been coined by Mach-E forum members seeking advice from one another online.

The March 25 technical service bulletin filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes the situation in more technical terms: “12-Volt Battery Becomes Discharged While The Vehicle Is Plugged In During The High Voltage Charging Process.”

Discharging, or draining, describes the process of a battery losing energy. 

When this happens, Mach-E customers get notified by their FordPass app that the Mach-E is in “deep sleep” mode, TheVerge noted.

The issue affects vehicles built on or before Feb. 3, Ford said. While the company has touted the potential for over-the-air updates, this fix requires a dealer visit.

Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley stands with a 2021 Mustang Mach-E 4X model outside of the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit on January 14, 2021.

The Ford bulletin said the problem may be related to the powertrain control module. The company told Reuters the situation is a “software glitch, which results in the small battery discharging while a larger high-voltage battery pack is charging.”

The Dearborn automaker declined to say how many Mach-E owners are affected. The company reported selling three vehicles in December, 238 in January and 3,739 in February. 

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