Dearborn, MI – October 31, 2023 – Ford (NYSE:F) is recalling 238,364 2020-2022 Ford Explorer SUVs that may stall or roll away. Both situations increase the risk of a crash and injury.
The recall comes on the heels of an U.S. government investigation, a driver sliding into a pole and a multitude of customer complaints.
Part of the drivetrain – called driveshaft – may disconnect from the rear axle, which is responsible for transmitting power to the vehicle’s rear wheels and moving the car forward. The disconnection is caused by a bolt which may fracture due to a supplier error.
Background of the recall
Ford recalled the majority of the affected vehicles last May, as reported. In some cases, instead of replacing the bolt, the manufacturer opted to deploy a software update which was designed the get the parking brake engaged to prevent rollaway once the vehicle stopped moving. The update did not address the stall issue and it later turned out that some of the involved vehicles received the update that did not even result in the engagement of the parking brake when needed.
This caused Ford to issue another recall to release the correct software update.
Amidst the recalls, the U.S. government auto safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation after receiving two complaints alleging the loss of motive power in vehicles that have undergone repair.
The agency concluded that the software remedy was inadequate and ordered the present recall.
A rollaway may lead to the vehicle hitting a stationary object, like a pole, which is exactly what happened to one of the drivers who filed a NHTSA complaint that led to this recall. No injuries were reported in that case but, overall, the defect did result in nearly 400 complaints and close to two dozen rollaway or stalling incidents .
The driver may hear “loud, grinding, binding, or clunking noises” coming from the back of the vehicle.
Other Ford recalls
Drivetrain failure and corresponding rollaway were the cause of a recent Ford recall affecting a batch of heavy-duty pickup trucks.
More than a three-quarter of a million F-150 trucks were recalled in August 2023 because their parking brakes would engage on their own.
Dealers will replace the bushing and the bolt that holds the rear axle with a stronger one. In addition, they will check the axle’s cover for damage and replace it if necessary.
This repair will be free of charge.
Owners should be notified between November 6, 2023 and November 10, 2023.
Is your vehicle a part of this recall?
This Ford rollaway recall affects almost a quarter of a million SUVs. To do a Ford recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.