Ford has problems with new vehicle rollouts, but in the case of the new 2020 Ford Explorer and sister Lincoln Aviator, the horror stories keep on coming. The issues at the assembly plant in Chicago making the two SUVs have been so severe many assembled Aviators and Explorers have to be trucked to Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant where they receive remedial fixes. But not all of them are getting fixed as owners recently told the Detroit Free Press.
Ford had to replace an Illinois woman’s 2020 Aviator because the sunroof leaked, the seat belts didn’t work, and the computer gave false crash warnings and transmission alarms. Also, the parking brake was difficult to engage. And, all of this was within the first few hundred miles of use. Yikes!
Lincoln has issued two Aviator recalls this year
So far this year there have been two Aviator recalls. One was for “unintended vehicle movement” when the Aviator was parked. The other was for seats that “may not adequately restrain an occupant in a crash.”
But that’s not all. Ford has issued consumer safety alerts about instrument clusters disabling warning alerts and failing to display which gear you have selected. Vehicles must show the gear it is in when not in Park.
Ford admits “it took on too much” with plant overhaul
Ford has admitted to investors it “took on too much” in its overhaul of the Chicago assembly plant that makes the Aviator and Explorer, which also includes Police Interceptor versions of the Explorer.
A woman in New Hampshire had problems with her new Aviator on the way home from the dealership she bought it from. Since the end of September, it has been in the shop for three weeks. She told the Freep, “Weird lights were going on and off, warning lights. The system said people were in the back seat but they weren’t. It came to a complete and sudden stop while I was going in reverse, backing up in my driveway. The rearview mirrors were flapping like wings.”
Lincoln has confirmed it will either repurchase the Aviator back from her or replace it with another one. A spokesperson for Lincoln says, “Lincoln will always do what is right to ensure that we provide our clients with a top-quality vehicle and a great luxury experience.”
A marketing director in New York City purchased an Aviator with a leaking roof and climate control issues. The console gets so hot he can’t put his phone in it, otherwise, it overheats and shuts down. He told the Freep even his Aviator loaner car from the dealership had water leaking problems.
Chicago plant has resolved assembly issues
Ford says now that the Chicago plant has resolved assembly issues and is running at full capacity. The demand for the Explorer and Aviator has been high. However, it continues to monitor the assembly line. It also performs what it calls “additional quality inspections as needed on some Ford Explorers, Lincoln Aviators, and Police Interceptors at Flat Rock Assembly Plant to ensure these vehicles are built with the quality our customers expect.”
As mentioned earlier, Ford has been trucking thousands of Explorers and Aviators to its Flat Rock assembly plant near Detroit for post-production inspections and assembly corrections. This has been going on since summer when production first ramped up. Many dealer shipments were held up for weeks while issues were corrected.
Let’s hope Ford’s SUV issues are now behind it.