Ford recalls Explorers for third time due to faulty suspension

Pleasanton, CA – November 24, 2020 – Ford (NYSE:F) has recalled 318,381 SUVs because a part of the suspension  – which connects the vehicle to the wheels – may fracture, seriously impairing a driver’s ability to steer. The recall includes 2013-2017 Ford Explorer SUVs and concerns the rear suspension toe links (#DB5Z-5B758-B and #DB5Z-5B759-B).

Recall summary  

The rear toe links hold the car’s back wheels at the correct angle so that the vehicle actually goes in the direction that the driver is steering. 

For a reason that is not entirely clear, the toe links have been snapping, causing the driver to lose control of the cars’ back wheels and get injured. Ford’s investigation up to date has pointed to salt – that is predominantly used in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest – as the culprit of the problem. Salt can corrode vehicles’ underbellies, where the toe links are located.

As such, the recall encompasses 22 states and six Canadian provinces where salt is used to de-ice roads in the winter. 

Previous recalls

This is the third time the manufacturer recalls Explorers for the same issue that was previously addressed in two separate recalls in 2016 and 2019.  The smaller 2016 recall was deemed necessary because of the toe links “improper weld,” while the 2019 one – that involved 1.2 million vehicles – was allegedly caused by rough roads.

Toe link problems have also forced Ford to recall nearly 230,000 Flex, Taurus, and Lincoln MKT vehicles this past February. Ford Focus cars have been subject to several complaints – one as recently as February – for its tires wearing out early.

Risks

A broken rear toe link will sever a driver’s control over one of their back wheels, allowing it to point in any direction. Under these conditions, the vehicle may start fishtailing (weaving left and right like a fish), which can send the car careening into a ditch or oncoming traffic. This is extremely dangerous. In fact, problems relating to this recall have caused at least 13 accidents and six injuries.

‘Sliding on ice sideways’

After one Explorer owner’s toe links snapped last February, they described the experience in a complaint to the NHTSA. “It’s like sliding on ice sideways. Very scary. Never want to go through this ever again.”  The driver nearly avoided a head-on collision.

Other drivers were similarly shaken by the sudden loss of control. “My daughter and I should have both been killed” said one NHTSA complaint this past August. “…several weeks since the (near) accident and we are still shaken up by it.” Another driver described how their seven-year-old grandson was now afraid to get in the car alone with them after their Explorer’s toe link broke and the car fishtailed across the median, slamming into a reflector post, just barely missing oncoming traffic. 

The repair

Ford will inspect where the toe link attaches to the wheel, and replace it if necessary, for free. The recall is expected to begin November 30, 2020. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 300,000 vehicles are part of this Ford recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandFord recalls Explorers for third time due to faulty suspension

Ford recalls F-250s and F-350s for front axle issues

Pleasanton, CA – November 23, 2020 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has recalled 9,628 Ford 4X4 trucks. The front axles may not be properly welded to the trucks, increasing the risk of a crash. Axles are responsible for transmitting the power from the vehicle to the wheels, which is what propels the car forward. Front axles in particular also help with steering and cushioning the blow from driving on uneven roads. As such, having a malfunctioning axis greatly increases the risk of a crash.

The recall includes 2019 Ford F-250 and F-350 super-duty trucks and concerns F250/350 Front Axle Assembly. Part number is JC34-3002-TB/DB/EB/FB.

Recall summary  

A Ford’s supplier used “non-conforming parts” to assemble the front axle and subsequently welded them incorrectly.

This is at least the second recall that Ford issued because of axle problems for this particular model and year. In October 2019, the manufacturer asked nearly 30,000 drivers of the 2019 F-250s and F-350s to take their cars in for repair because the rear axles were prone to fracture.

These same trucks are also subject to a 2019 California class action lawsuit, alleging that their suspension and steering problem make them prone to a “death wobble,”  or “violent shaking” at higher speeds when traveling on uneven surfaces. The lawsuit was partially dismissed in early November.

Warning signs

Here are some signs that your car’s axle may be broken or is not welded properly:

  • An unusual noise when you turn or put the car into gear
  • Wobbling or vibration especially in the wheel area
  • Brake malfunction
  • Car fails to move

It is unsafe to continue driving the car with a broken or misaligned axle and you should take the car to the shop as soon as possible.

Risks 

If the axle is not properly welded to the vehicle, it may break, causing you to lose control of the car and get into an accident. If the axle breaks, you may feel the truck get pulled to the left or the right or find that steering becomes more difficult. The effects can be more  pronounced if the axle failure occurs when you brake hard.  

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to inspect the front axle of the truck and confirm if the welding was performed correctly. If not, the axle assembly will be replaced. The repair is free of charge and the recall was expected to begin on October 15, 2020.

Ford estimates that the repair will be completed in less than two days. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 9,500 vehicles are included in this Ford truck recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydFord recalls F-250s and F-350s for front axle issues

Ford recalls Transit Connect vans due to engine fire risk

Pleasanton, CA – November 20, 2020 – Ford (NYSE:F) is recalling 2,903 Transit Connect vans with incorrect control software settings that may cause the engine to overheat and could lead to a fire. The recall includes 2019-2020 Transit Connect vans with 2.5L engines and concerns the following components:

  • Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Calibration 
    • R07, #KV6A-12A650-PF 
    • R21, #KV6A-12A650-AEC 
    • R25, #KV6A-12A650-APB 
    • R31, #KV6A-12A650-AJ

Recall summary

The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is “the brain” of the car that controls over 100 elements.  Usually, the PCM is programmed to enter a “failsafe” mode that will cool the vehicle down if the engine gets too hot. Due to a software calibration issue, however, the software in the recalled vehicles may not trigger the failsafe mode until temperatures exceed safe limits. Running the van at this high temperature could damage the engine or even cause a fire.

This is the second recall for Ford 2020 Transit vans this fall. In September, over 54,000 vans were recalled because of faulty rearview cameras that displayed a “distorted or blank image.”

Safety concerns

The U.S. Fire Administration 2019 Report on Fire in the United States stated that equipment failures accounted for at least 20% of vehicle fires between 2009 and 2017.  

Vehicle fires are a fairly common occurrence that can pose a great risk to the occupants of the vehicle, as well as passerbys. For tips on what to do if your car catches fire, please visit this page.

Repair

To fix the issue, dealers will reprogram the PCM software. The recall started on October 26 and is free of charge.

Is your vehicle affected by this recall?

Nearly 3,000 vehicles are included in this Ford recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandFord recalls Transit Connect vans due to engine fire risk

Ford recalls vehicles with distorted rearview camera image

Pleasanton, CA – September 23 2020 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has recalled 620,246 vehicles with rearview cameras that may display a “distorted or blank” image.  The recall includes:

  • 2020 Ford F-150, F-250 SD, F-350 SD, F-450 SD, F 550 SD trucks
  • 2020 Ford Explorer SUVs
  • 2020 Ford Mustang vehicles
  • 2020 Ford Transit vans
  • 2020 Ford Expedition SUVs
  • 2020 Ford Escape  SUVs
  • 2020 Ford Ranger trucks
  • 2020 Ford Edge SUVs
  • 2020 Lincoln Nautilus crossovers
  • 2020 Lincoln Corsair compact SUVs

Recall summary  

Due to a poor “electrical connection,”  the backup cameras can show a distorted image to the driver. The culprit is the printed circuit board within the vehicle that connects electrical components.

As a result,  the vehicles do not meet the federal requirements that require them to display a “field of view” to the driver before  backing up.

Risks 

A driver who cannot see the rearview camera display may run into a person or an object behind them. In fact, back-up cameras became mandatory after two-year old Cameron Gulbransen was tragically killed by a backing up SUV that could not “see” him. 

Prior to the passage of the related act in 2007, around 284 people were killed and injured around 12,000 in back-up crashes annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will replace the rearview camera.  The recall  will  begin on November 7 and the replacement – once available – is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 620,000 vehicles are included in this Ford recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s vehicle identification number (VIN) look up tool.

Ken BoydFord recalls vehicles with distorted rearview camera image

Ford conducts Edge and Lincoln MKX recall for leaking brake fluid

Pleasanton, CA – August 11, 2020 Ford (NYSE:F) has announced a recall of 488,594 SUVs whose front brake hoses may leak brake fluid. The recall includes:

  • 2015-2018 Ford Edge crossovers
  • 2016-2018 Lincoln MKX luxury SUVs

Recall summary

The rubber brake hose in these recalled vehicles may not stand up to stress over time. Hard steering and bumpy roads could stress the front brake jounce hose and cause it to split, resulting in a leak. Brake fluid leaks can make it harder for a driver to stop, increasing the risk of a crash.

Safety tips

Drivers of Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles should keep an eye on the brake fluid warning indicator light, which will light up if the brakes lose too much fluid. 

Losing brake pressure can be frightening. When you press on your brakes, you may feel the pedal go down to the floor with little or no resistance. If this happens, you should:

  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Try to slow down either by shifting to a lower gear (if you have a manual transmission) or taking your foot off the gas (if you have an automatic transmission).
  • Pump your brakes.
  • If pumping your brakes does not stop the car, slowly engage your parking brake. (This is also called the emergency brake.)
  • Look for a place where you can safely pull off the road. You might be able to steer into an open area or turn your vehicle onto an uphill road.
  • As a last resort, if the vehicle does not stop, turn off the ignition. Do not turn it all the way to Lock to avoid locking up the steering wheel.

The repair

Ford and Lincoln dealers will replace the front brake hoses in all recalled vehicles. As of yet, there are not enough parts for Ford and Lincoln dealers to repair the problems described in this recall, but the new hoses should be ready sometime in early 2021. Owners will be notified by mail when they’re available, at which time you can make an appointment with a dealer who will perform the service free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 488,000 SUVs are included in this Lincoln MKX and Ford Edge recall. To see if your car is one use the MotorSafety.org vehicle identification number (VIN) look up tool.

Rebecca RandFord conducts Edge and Lincoln MKX recall for leaking brake fluid

Ford recalls another round of F-150s due to front brake failure

Pleasanton, CA – July 6, 2020 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has announced a recall of certain 2014-2017 Ford F-150 pickup trucks equipped with 3.5-liter Ecoboost engines.

Recall summary

In May 2016, Ford recalled 225,012 F-150s for leaking brake fluid resulting in front brake failure. On June 8 of this year,  after a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation, the company expanded the recall to the 2014-2017 models because of the same issue.  In some cases – depending on the model – drivers would hear “an audible chime” or see the “brake warning indicator” come on.  In others, however, the brakes would fail without any warning. Losing the front braking power can increase the distance it takes to stop a moving vehicle, which increases the risk of a crash. 

A harrowing experience for drivers

There are 286 Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) reports from the NHTSA detailing drivers’ experiences with Ford brake failure. Ford says it knows of seven accidents and two injuries that have resulted from this defect. Dozens more near-misses populate the NHTSA list of complaints linked to F-150s with leaky brake master cylinders.

Many of the incidents began with a driver pressing down on the brake pedal, only to have it go all the way to the floor with no resistance as the car barreled ahead, slowing very little or not at all. “I was convinced someone had tampered with my brakes and they were trying to kill me!” one Ford driver reported.

Another driver’s report states their warning light came on shortly before the brakes failed. The driver told their family to hold on. “As they were screaming in fear I stepped on the emergency [brake] and down-shifted to first,” the driver wrote in their complaint. “We are lucky I knew what to do. Another family may not be so lucky.”

What to do if your brakes fail 

According to Ford, in a situation where a leak disables the front wheel brakes,  the rear brakes would still function. But losing half a car’s braking power can still feel like the vehicle is out of control.

If a vehicle’s brakes partially fail, drivers should:

  • Maintain composure and turn on hazard lights.
  • Attempt to slow down by either shifting to a lower gear (for a manual transmission) or taking the foot off the gas (for an automatic car).
  • Pump the brakes.
  • If pumping the brakes does not work, slowly engage the parking (emergency) brake. 
  • Look for a safe place to pull off. This may be an open area to steer into, or an uphill road to turn onto.
  • As a last resort, if the vehicle will not stop, turn the ignition “OFF”. Do not turn it to “LOCK,” which will lock up the steering wheel. 

The repair

Ford owners can take their recalled F-150s to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to replace the brake master cylinder and the brake booster, if needed. According to the NHTSA, repairs due to a recall will come free of charge, if no more than 10 years passed from the vehicle purchase date.

Owners who paid to repair this defect before the recall may be reimbursed, but the deadline for reimbursement is July 17

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 300,000 cars are included in this Ford F-150 recall. Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Joe GlaserFord recalls another round of F-150s due to front brake failure

Blower Motor Used to Replace Original in Ford Ranger’s May Short

re: NHTSA campaign 20V137000

Laguna Hills, CA – March 9, 2020 – Replacement blower motors installed in 2019 Ford Ranger vehicles may electrically short and increase the risk of vehicle fire.

The potential number of affected vehicles is 5,384.

The Defect

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2019 Ford Ranger vehicles that had been previously replaced with a new blower motor to comply with recall 19V-726. The replacement HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) blower motor may be installed with a faulty clearance area that sits between an electrical terminal and the conductive plate at the base of the motor. If the clearance area is improperly assembled this will result in a electrical short that could cause an internal engine fire. The original dates of replacement in compliance with recall 19V-726 was October 9, 2019 through November 22, 2019 – any 2019 Rangers replacement with HVAC motors during this period are at higher risk for this particular recall.

On October 9, 2019, Field Service Action 19S34 was approved in regards to 2019 Ford Ranger vehicles overheating, melting or smoking due to HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) blower motors that did not function properly. The Field Service Action revealed to the Ford Action Committee that the recalled blower motors were assembled and stamped with a build date code of June 14, 2019 through September 22, 2019. On October 30, 2019, a Ford dealership received a replacement blower motor with a suspect build date code. This was followed by five other manufacturers and dealerships reporting that they had also received blow motors with suspect build date codes. Ford decided to investigate, and a Tier 2 supplier found that 300 blower motors that were built within the suspect dates were not properly quarantined and shipped to a Tier 1 supplier then distributed among dealers. This information was brought to the Ford Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) who decided on November 5, 2019 to launch a campaign whose efforts would help to locate all of the distributed blower motors. By February 21, 2020 93 of the suspected 300 blower motors had been located. Ford Motors decided to test approximately 30 of the found 93 blower motors for electrical continuity issues. Of the 30 tests, five blower motors indicated an improper space between one electrical conduit and the electrical conductive base plate installed in the motor. After the results of these tests were finalized Ford decided to issue a field action and part recall for blower motors used to replace previously recalled motors under FSA 19S34. The FSA approval dates of the suspected blower motors installation is between October 9, 2019 through November 22, 2019.

Solution

Any owners whose 2019 Ford Rangers HVAC blower motors were repaired under FSA 19S34 from October 9, 2019 through November 22, 2019 will be notified by mail as soon as possible. Ford will instruct the owners to bring their vehicle into a Ford or Lincoln dealerships to have the HVAC blower motor build date code inspected. If the build date code is within the timeframe that the recalled motors were shipped out then the HVAC motor will be replaced, free of charge. Vehicle owners with further questions should contact Ford Customer Service at 1 (800) 392-3673.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyBlower Motor Used to Replace Original in Ford Ranger’s May Short

Daytime Running Lights in Certain Ford Trucks Are Not Dimming Properly

re: NHTSA campaign 20V097000

Laguna Hills, CA – Feb 6, 2020 – Certain Ford Trucks equipped with high series LED headlamps may not dim properly which could result in impair visibility to other drivers. 

The total number of affected vehicles is 166,196.

The Defect

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling 2018-2020 F-150 trucks installed with LED headlamps capable of Autolamp functions that do not properly dim. Owners of affected truck’s installed with the recalled Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) could possibly impair the vision of other drivers if not aware of the defect. The Daytime Running Lamps were noticed to not properly dim to parking lamps when the Master Lighting Switch (MLS) has been switched from the default setting (Autolamps) to the setting “Headlamps On”. 

Attention was brought to the possible recall by a customer’s observation. In October 2019, the owner of a Ford F-150 truck observed that certain DRL capabilities were exhibited unexpectedly (not properly turning on/off or dimming). Ford’s Critical Concerns Review Group (CCRG) decided to consult the vehicle owner’s claims for an overview of possible product malfunction. CCRG observed that in assembly of 2018-2020 F-150 headlamps created the possibility of DRL to not properly dim and therefore not be in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment.” The headlamps, when the Master Lighting Switch was rotated from “Autolamp” to “headlamps on”, would cause the LED lamps to remain at full brightness even though they should have automatically dimmed. On February, 14, 2020, Ford’s Field Review Committee decided to approve field action to bring awareness to the issue. Ford has released a statement claiming no reports or knowledge of injury relating to this issue.

The solution

Affected vehicle owners will receive a notification letter from Ford on March 9, 2020 outline the details of how to fix their vehicles issue. Owners will be asked to bring in their vehicle to any official Ford or Lincoln dealership to have the Body Control Module (BCM) configuration update so as to ensure the issue will cease. All owners will be reimbursed for this repair. Ford welcomes any affected owners with further questions to call Ford Customer Service at 1 (800) 392-3673.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

—————————————————————————————————————

About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyDaytime Running Lights in Certain Ford Trucks Are Not Dimming Properly

Sparks in Ford trucks may cause fire

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2017-2019 F-Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450 and SuperCrew Cab vehicles. The front seat pretensioner may spark in the event of a crash and ignite carpeting or insulation.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 490,574.

The Defect

According to an investigation by Ford, the front seat pretensioner may generate excessive sparks during a crash. In some cases, these sparks can interact with exhaust gas and cause the vehicle’s carpet or carpet insulation in the B-pillar area to catch on fire.The defect is unique to the 2017-2019 model year, as those vehicles were built with unique seat belt pretensioners. All vehicles assembled after October 29, 2019 were modified to prevent the issue.

So far there has been one report in the U.S. of a fire caused by the seat belt pretensioner.

Timeline of Events

In September 2018, Ford did some testing on the B-pillar area of their Super Duty vehicles, after a similar issue was reported in the 2015-2018 F-150 model. At that time, Ford did not determine that the area was at risk of combustion. In October 2019, Ford received a report from NHTSA of a post-crash fire in the B-pillar area of a 2019 F-250 Crew Cab. Both Ford and NHTSA inspected the vehicle and Ford performed analysis on related parts. Ford also performed nearly 300 vehicle level tests, finding issues in a few cases. Further inspection found that variance in the profile of the carpet edge was a determinate on whether the carpet combusted. While the investigation was still ongoing, Ford began adding heat resistant foil tape to all 2019 model year vehicles.

On December 4, 2019 Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the situation and approved field action.

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail and told to take their vehicles to a certified Ford or Lincoln dealer for repairs. Dealers will apply heat resistant foil tape to the carpet and carpet insulation edges in affected vehicles and modify the sound deadener on the back of the B-pillar trim panel.

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning December 12, 2019, while owners will be notified from January 20, 2020 to January 24, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesSparks in Ford trucks may cause fire

Ford Motor Company Recalls Certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator Vehicles

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 11, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles. The issue involves the protective casing over the vapor fuel line. The line’s protective casing is at risk of chafing through the plastic liquid fuel line over time, causing a fuel leak.

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 3,857.

The Defect

Ford believes that certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles possess the affected vapor lines. Due to a logistical error, several vehicles were stocked with an older version of the vapor line casings that were not appropriate for the parts in question. Over time, these incorrect protective casings can erode the underlying fuel line, causing fuel to leak. If this fuel comes in contact with the high temperature engine compartment, it can ignite, posing a serious danger to operators and passengers of a vehicle, as well as damaging the car itself. Leaking fuel can also interfere with the operation of other components and contribute to corrosion in the engine housing.

Timeline of Events

On December 4, 2019, Ford Motor Company discovered a defect in certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles. The next day, they notified all Ford and Lincoln dealers about the issue and stopped all deliveries and sales of the affected vehicles. Vehicles that had been stocked with the incorrect convolute covering were identified during the review of manufacturing plant records. Later, on December 12, they released a public recall notice regarding the issue. Instructions were provided to retailers on the proper replacement procedures for the affected fuel line covers.

The Solution

Plans for the removal and replacement process of the incorrect convolute covers have not been finalized. Ford recommends that owners do not operate their vehicles. Owners will be notified of the danger through mail regarding both the danger and when repair and removal services become available for the issue. Dealers will be provided with the necessary replacement parts. If a Ford vehicle is found to possess this protective casings, the casings will be replaced free of charge. The recall is expected to begin late in the first quarter of 2020. Owners and retailers will be notified once the recall commences.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesFord Motor Company Recalls Certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator Vehicles