Ford Recalls Nearly 35,000 Vehicles Due to Missing Seat Brackets

Laguna Hills, CA – November 30, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2018 Lincoln Navigator, and Ford Expedition vehicles due to missing brackets in the center row seating. The potential number of units affected is 34,946.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the second row center seat track assemblies may be missing one or both of the J-Channel reinforcement brackets, possibly allowing the seat to move in the event of a crash. In the event of a crash, a seat that moves may not properly restrain the seat occupant, increasing their risk of injury.

This recall includes all vehicles produced with this seat configuration (second row bench [40/20/40]), which was a new design for the 2018 model year. The second row bench center (20%) seat is adjustable and can be positioned 70mm further forward than the outboard seats. The owner’s manual states the seat should be adjusted to its rearward position when it is occupied by older children or adults, including children in booster seats.

Timeline of Events

On August 30, 2018, Ford’s Critical Concerns Review Group (CCRG) reviewed a concern regarding missing J-channel reinforcement brackets on certain 2018 model year Expedition and Navigator second row bench center (20%) seats. This seat track assembly design, which was new for 2018 models, contains two J-channel reinforcement brackets, one left-hand and one right-hand. CCRG requested an assessment of center seat structural integrity with one or both J-channel bracket reinforcements missing.

During September and October 2018, directional CAE analysis was conducted on a rigidified body sheet metal structure with the second row center seat in the full rear and full forward seating positions, and a more detailed analysis simulating actual body sheet metal structure was performed under crash conditions to determine if the missing brackets presented a risk.

The in-depth CAE analysis, simulating the production vehicle design, indicated that the seat track missing one or both J-channel reinforcement brackets may peel or tear when the seat is adjusted in the fully forward or near fully forward position. This could lead to increased risk of injury during a crash, particularly for children seated in the middle row seating.

CAE was able to confirm that a seat adjusted in the full rearward seating position did not present this concern. On November 5, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a recall; at this time, Ford was not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this issue.

The Solution

Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the second row center (20%) seat inspected to determine if both J-channel brackets are installed. If one or both J-channel brackets are missing, dealers will replace the center seat frame assembly. There will be no charge for this service. Until the vehicle is serviced for this concern, customers are advised to adjust the center seat to its full rearward position. The recall is expected to begin December 17, 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S37. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-805.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls Nearly 35,000 Vehicles Due to Missing Seat Brackets