Report: Feds Say Prior Ford Explorer Recalls Not Enough Now Open Investigation
When over 700,000 Ford Explorer SUVs were recalled over power loss issues in April last year, everyone involved thought the problem was solved. In March, another recall was for similar power loss complaints. But now, as a result of that recall, and still more reports of problems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation. Here’s what we know so far.
What is the Ford Explorer recall about?
The Explorers recalled are from 2020 to 2022. A rear axle bolt can fracture, which leads to driveshafts breaking away from the axle. Reports of vehicles rolling away after the parking brake was on were Ford’s reason for the recall. This happens only in instances where the parking brake is not on.
So Ford’s fix was to do a software update that automatically applies the parking brake after the Explorer is in Park. But the fix doesn’t address the cause of this, the fractured rear axle bolt potential. Yet Ford does say that the bolt “is the basis of this safety issue and the cause of the impaired vehicle.”
What are Ford Explorer drivers saying after the recall?
So the confusing point is the actual cause is not addressed because a software update won’t fix the potential of an axle bolt breaking. But with the update, drivers are now experiencing either a loss of power or a loss of rear wheel torque. One NHTSA complaint says the Explorer would come to a random complete stop while driving. The owner had both his son and wife drive it, and the same thing happened to them. He said it happens when the Explorer reaches between 30 and 35 mph.
Another complaint reports that the Explorer would jerk forward while disengaging the electronic brake. Neither of these incidents resulted in injuries. However, in the first instance, the SUV hit a pole resulting in damage. The recall takes in all versions of the Explorer, including the 2020 to 2022 2.3-liter, 3-liter, 3.3-liter hybrid, and 3-liter ST. It also includes the 2020 to 2021 Explorer Police hybrids and 3.3-liter gas engines.
Has the Ford Explorer had a lot of recalls?
In this year alone, there have been six Explorer recalls. A number of them were for issues with the Back Over Prevention camera and software. But since 2019, there have been 29 Ford Explorer recalls.
Overall, Ford issued a whopping 67 recalls last year. And in 2021, there were 51 Ford recalls, affecting 5.4 million vehicles. The 2022 recalls took in over 8.6 million Ford cars and trucks. The next Ford Explorer is being readied to replace the current model introduced in 2019. Ford is actively addressing engineering and manufacturing practices to make the new SUV’s rollout much smoother and issue-free than it was for the current model.