Ford Explorer Rollaway Risk Leads to Recall for a Quarter Million Vehicles
A recall has been issued for more than 250,000 newer model year Ford Explorers, due to a risk of rollaway accidents where the vehicles may move even if it is placed in park if the driveshaft disconnects.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Ford Explorer recall on April 20, indicating that an improperly manufactured rear axle horizontal mounting bolts may fracture prematurely and unexpectedly, posing a risk of severe injury as individuals attempt to enter or exit the vehicle after placing it in park, as well as a risk for bystanders around the vehicle.
While no injuries or accidents have been linked to the Ford Explorer rollaway problems, similar defects in other vehicles have caused serious and sometimes fatalities injuries in recent years.
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Ford warns that the rear axle horizontal mounting bolts may fracture, allowing the rear axle housing to move out of position and lose transmission torque to the rear wheels, which is required to hold the vehicle in park when the emergency parking brake is not applied.
Ford first learned of defect on August 10, 2021, after receiving several warranty claims of certain newer model Ford Explorer vehicles experiencing a “loss of park” issue that allowed to vehicles to move while the vehicle was turned off with the shifter in the Park position.
The manufacturer opened an investigation with its Critical Concern Review Group and began collecting field parts for review. As of April 5, 2022, Ford had received 235 warranty claims involving the rear axle bolt fracturing since December 2019, and decided to conduct a safety recall.
The recall includes approximately 252,936 model year 2020 through 2021 Explorer Police FHEV, Explorer Police 3.3L, and 2020 through 2022 Explorer 2.3L RWD, 3.0L PHEV, 3.3 L FHEV, and 3.0L ST GAS vehicles.
Ford is expected to begin notifying owners about the recall by letter starting on June 6, 2022. Customers will be instructed to contact their local Ford dealer, where dealers will be instructed to replace the bushing and axle cover, or update the electronic parking brake software, depending on the vehicle model.
Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall are encouraged to contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 22S27.
Ford Rollaway Accidents and Problems
In recent years, Ford Motors has been involved in several recalls due to failing components that could allow vehicles to roll away and significantly increase the risk of an auto accident.
In January, a Ford Fusion, Lincoln and Mustang recall impacting more than 200,000 vehicles was issued due to problems with the brake pedals, which could cause brake light problems and potentially allow parked vehicles to rollaway, increasing the risk of an auto accident.
Ford and the NHTSA announced the recall after more than 615 warranty claims were submitted to Ford involving problems with the brake pedals. However, the auto maker claimed there have been no crashes or injuries linked to the problem.
In October 2019, a Ford F-250 and F-350 truck recall impacted more than 30,000 vehicles, after it was determined that the axle shafts could fail to live up to their life expectancy and fracture prematurely without warning or notice to the driver, increasing the risk of a crash or rollaway hazard.
Just a year prior, in 2018, Ford recalled nearly 350,000 Ford pickup trucks and SUV’s due a risk that the gear shifter to fail to move to the “Park” position, allowing the vehicle to roll away after the driver exits the vehicle.
That recall impacted model year 2018 F-650 and F-750 vehicles equipped with 6-speed transmissions and model year 2018 Ford F-150 trucks and Expedition SUV’s equipped with 10-speed automatic transmissions.
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