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Ford recalls nearly 1.5 million F-150 pickup trucks that may downshift without warning

Ford is recalling nearly 1.5 million pickup trucks in North America, including 221,000 in Canada, because the transmissions can suddenly downshift into first gear.

Recall includes about 221,000 vehicles in Canada

Ford F-150 trucks are shown at a dealership in Glbert, Ariz., in this photo from March 29, 2011. Ford is recalling nearly 1.5 million pickup trucks in North America because the transmissions can suddenly downshift into first gear. (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 — 1.26 million vehicles in the U.S. and 221,000 in Canada — covers F-150 trucks from the 2011 through 2013 model years with six-speed automatic transmissions.

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

"Depending on vehicle speed, a downshift to first gear without warning could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash," the company said in a statement.

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

Ford's F-Series pickup is the top-selling vehicle in both Canada and United States.

Ford has also issued several recalls for smaller issues on 2017 through 2019 Lincoln Continentals as well as Ford Mustangs, Lincoln Nautiluses and Lincoln Navigators from 2019.

With files from CBC News.