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Ford just announced two recalls involving almost 775,000 Explorer SUVs and another for 2020-2021 Lincoln Aviator SUVs. The Explorer recall is for a steering issue. Six injuries have been allegedly attributed to the problem so far leading up to the recall. This involves Explorer SUVs built from 2013 to 2017. 

Loss of steering can result prompting the Explorer recall

2017 Ford Explorer recall
2017 Ford Explorer Platinum | Matt West/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

The issue is essentially a rear suspension fracturing. A cross-axis ball joint can potentially cause a fractured rear suspension toe link. As a result an accident can result from loss of steering control. The issues have not resulted in deaths to Ford’s knowledge.

Ford says that most of the incidences of this happening are coming out of areas that cause high corrosion. So it looks like places with high humidity and snow conditions that areas use road salt to minimize. Indications can include clunking noises, unusual handling characteristics, or a misaligned wheel. 

It is unfortunate that Ford continues to see these recalls. Last year it recalled the 2020 Explorer 10 times. Now, issues are mounting for its latest release; the Mustang Mach-E EV. 

How will Ford fix the Explorer issues?

2017 Ford Explorer front end
2017 Ford Explorer SUV | Mario Tama/Getty Images

The fix involves Ford dealership technicians inspecting the cross-axis ball joint. Either the joint or knuckle will be replaced if cracking is found. And newly designed toe-links will be installed which should preclude any further issues.

If you have questions or concerns about whether your Ford Explorer is part of this recall you can contact your local Ford dealer, go to Ford’s recall announcement, or the NHTSA’s website for further information and instructions.  If you do be sure to have your vehicle’s VIN handy.


2020 Lincoln Aviator front 3/4 view
2020 Lincoln Aviator is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

This is for 2020-2021 Lincoln Aviators equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 engine. It covers over 36,000 models in North America. A loose battery cable can contact the air conditioner compressor pulley. 

Over time this can wear through the insulation making contact with a positive, unfused circuit. Without it being fused there is potential for a short circuit which can lead to a fire. No fires resulted from this issue to Ford’s knowledge. 

How will Lincoln fix the problem?

You must bring your Aviator to your local dealership to inspect the wiring harness and AC compressor pulley. With no damage seen technicians will use a tie harness to provide more clearance between the harness and compressor pulley. More severe damage may require technicians to replace the compressor belt. In certain cases, they may also replace the battery cable harness in addition to the other fixes. 

Again, should you have concerns contact your local Lincoln dealership, Ford’s recall website, or the NHTSA site.