ford explorer

Ford Explorer Recall Sparks NHTSA Investigation

According to initial reports, Ford has recalled almost a quarter million Explorer SUVs following several complaints of sporadic behavior post-repair. Apparently, the repair was needed to keep vehicles from rolling off abruptly even while in parking gear. 

Let’s dig deeper to analyze what went wrong with Ford Motor Explorer SUVs and what the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority is investigating further.

Reasons behind the SUV Recall

As announced by Ford Motors, it is the fracture of rear axle bolts of various Explorer SUVs, forcing them to recall their automobiles immediately. The fractured rear axle bolts could break, causing the rear axle housing to displace from its position. This fractured bolt not only disconnects the driveshaft but can often cause abrupt vibration issues.

Ford officials further explain that a stable driveshaft and its transmission park help prevent the vehicle from rolling away while in parking gear. Otherwise, the loss of the driveshaft transmission could lead to serious injury or accidental crashing.

What Did Ford Motors Do To Fix Bolt Fractures?

Ford Motors have made some advancements previously to rectify the fracture problem of rear axle mounting bolts by updating their software.

This software update enables an electronic parking brake in case of sudden failure or disconnection of the driveshaft. But unfortunately, things didn’t go in their favor, and some SUV owners came up with very obvious malfunctioning despite the repair.

What Do SUV Owners Complain About?

One SUV owner complained of their Ford Explorer slamming against a stop, going 30-40 mph, and eventually rolling down because its drivetrain disconnected.

In another case, the Ford Explorer started wobbling in motion when the driver was trying to disconnect the electronic brake. Luckily, in both incidents, no one gets injured, but the gross damage to their vehicles is beyond comprehension.

A Brief Summary of Ford Recalls

This is not the first time, but Ford Explorer has faced recall twice in two consecutive years. In April 2022, Ford recalled a batch of vehicles (of different models) for the rear axle bolt fracture. Some of the Ford Explorer models that get recalled are:

  • Ford Explorer Police Electric (2020/21)
  • Ford Explorer Police with (3.3L 2020/22)
  • Ford Explorer 2.3L (2020/21)
  • Ford Explorer ST3 3L (2020/22)
  • Ford Explorer Hybrid 3L (2020/22)

Then, again in May 2023, a second Ford recall occurred for the same fracture reason, in which Explorer vehicles manufactured between 2019-2022 were recalled. 

Final Thoughts

Though Ford has updated the software program to prevent Explorer from rolling away following driveshaft failure, it is yet to fix the root cause to propose safety measures for failed rear axle horizontal mounting bolts. And it is the same concern raised by and is part of an investigation of NHTSA. 

If you face similar issues with your Ford, call (833) Lemon firm. Our experienced attorneys may be able to seek compensation from automakers for the defects covered under warranty.