Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 27, 2019 – The Ford Motor Company recently issued a recall for a small number of its Expedition and Lincoln Navigator light SUVs due to concerns over the integrity of rear toe link fasteners.
Specifically, the issue affects just 18 vehicles, of which half were expected to carry the defect.
In the case of both the Expeditions and Navigators – all from the 2019 model year – Ford’s manufacturing team believes the vehicles may have been produced with improperly torqued rear toe link fasteners, meaning they were not properly tightened during assembly. This increases the risk that the rear toe link itself would disconnect while driving, likely resulting in a significant loss of steering control, and thus raising risk of crash or injury.
The problem arose as a result of an automated tool the company uses in its manufacturing process experiencing wear and tear on the gears, which reduced its ability to properly tighten the fasteners.
Drivers will be able to detect whether this problem arises in their vehicle by possibly hearing a noise, a change in the steering wheel’s height, unexpected wear on the tires or changes to how the SUV handles.
The Ford Expeditions in the recall were produced Sept. 5 and 6, 2019, while the Lincoln Navigators were only produced Sept. 6.
To date, the company is not aware of any accidents or injuries stemming from the problem.
Timeline of Events
On Sept. 12, less than a week after the vehicles in question were produced, the automaker’s Critical Concern Review Group learned of concerns about the under-torqued fasteners, after a torque inspector at the company’s assembly plant reported a potential issue with low torque conditions on both the left- and right-side rear toe link frame attachments. This issue was discovered through a routine examination, and the company promptly reviewed production records to identify affected vehicles.
Those still remaining at the plant were inspected, and the suspected torque problem was present in all of them. However, records indicated that some of the affected vehicles had already been shipped out.
Ford’s Field Review Committee approved the recall on Oct. 18.
Ford notified the owners of affected vehicles by mail and asked them to return to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to check not only the fasteners, but also rear toe alignment and rear tires, fixing or replacing all as necessary. The company will not need to reimburse drivers because everything is covered by warranty.
Dealers were first notified of the recall Oct. 28, and owners received their notifications between Nov. 11 and 18.
For additional details about this recall, consumers can contact Ford by phone at 1-866-436-7332, or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.