Skip to main content

The current run of Ford’s popular Explorer has been hit with multiple issues and recalls since its debut in 2019. Honestly, it has been a real embarrassment for Ford. And, unfortunately, the recalls just keep on coming. In fact, the recall announcement today is a re-recall after owners came back to Ford dealers with similar issues after getting the first recall’s fix. 

So today’s recall announcement is for the same 2020 to 2022 Explorers exhibiting rear axle bolt failures. Owners experience a loss of power while driving and roll away when in Park. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating bolt failures after the first recall since June of this year. 

Why didn’t the first Explorer recall work?

Popular Ford SUVs like this Explorer are selling fast
A 2023 Ford Explorer | Ford

What exactly is happening? The rear axle horizontal mounting bolts are fracturing. The result is that driveshafts can disconnect, which can cause a crash. Ford’s records show it has 396 incidents of axle bolt failures. 

Of those, less than 5% resulted in a rollaway or a loss of power. Ford also says there are no reports of accidents or injuries in cases where bolts did facture. 

Ford’s first recall involved a software update to have the parking brake applied automatically when in Park. But, obviously, that didn’t address the fracturing bolt issues, which the NHTSA addressed in documents related to the issue. Now, the actual cause is the focus of this recall.

How is Ford fixing the issues this time?

Owners will need to bring their Explorers into dealerships, where technicians will replace both the suspect bolts and the subframe bushings they go through. Upon inspections, if there is damage to rear end covers, technicians will replace those as well. Notifications will begin going out to owners next month. 

For the 2022 Ford Explorer, this is the 11th recall so far, which is unprecedented. There are several recalls over single issues like the automatic transmission, the back-over prevention system, fuel system issues, and improper heat treating for frame members. Transmission issues have been one of the Explorer’s major problems. Recalls include everything from lurching and jolting to issues with going in and out of gear. 

What to do if you own a 2020 to 2022 Ford Explorer


The Ford Explorer: A Brief History Told Through Recalls

The 2020 Explorer also had a string of recalls, and several sources suggest staying away from that model year should you be looking to buy a used one. When production began for the all-new 2019 Explorer, there were problems assembling them at Ford’s Chicago plant. Ford had to transfer finished versions for secondary attention to its Flat Rock, Michigan, assembly plant. 

Back to this latest recall, those owners with questions or concerns can go to the NHTSA website and enter their VIN for more details. You’ll also be able to see if there are other recalls that are still open for your car.