Ford is recalling 221,000 pickups in Canada after reports of a transmission problem that could result in a sudden downshift to first gear.

The problem affects model year 2011–2013 F-150 pickups built at facilities in Dearborn and Kansas City. There are almost 1.5 million trucks affected, 221,000 of those in Canada.

On affected trucks with the six-speed automatic transmission, there could be an intermittent loss of the transmission output speed sensor signal that's sent to the powertrain control module. If the PCM doesn't detect that signal, it could result in a sudden and temporary downshift into first gear.

That sudden shift could cause a loss of control of the vehicle, and that could increase the risk of a crash. Ford said in the recall notice that it was aware of five accidents reports and one report of whiplash that may have been related to the issue.

For the fix, dealers will update the PCM in affected vehicles. Affected owners should receive notification directly from Ford, but can check online or contact their dealer.