Nearly 800,000 Ford Explorer SUVs are being recalled due to rear suspension problems, where a toe link may fracture and cause sudden loss of steering control, which may increase the risk of an auto accident.
The Ford Explorer recall was announced on July 16, impacting vehicles from the 2013 through 2017 model years, which may be prone to steering problems caused by a suspension failure in high-corrosion regions.
To date, Ford is aware of at least six alleged injuries related to the Ford Explorer suspension problems, and is warning customers that a diminished steering capacity caused by the fracture may increase the risk of a crash.
According to the recall announcement, the recalled Ford Explorer models may experience a seized cross-axis ball joint which could cause a fractured rear suspension toe link. According to Ford, in the event the suspension toe link fractures, drivers may experience a clunk noise, unusual handling, or a misaligned rear wheel.
The recall includes approximately 774,696 Ford Explorer vehicles built at the Chicago Assembly Plant between September 4, 2012 and September 30, 2017, and at the Elabuga Assembly Plant in Russia between January 28, 2013 and July 28, 2017.
Approximately 676,152 affected vehicles were sold and distributed throughout North America, while 59,935 were sold in China, 25,257 through Ford’s International Markets Group, 13,162 in Europe and 190 in South America.
Ford is warning the potential for suspension toe link fractures occurring is higher for vehicles located in high-corrosion regions where cold weather and high-humidity and substantial road salt are used.
The recall announcement states owners will be notified of the recall in late August and will be provided instructions on how to schedule an inspection at their local dealer, who will be instructed to inspect the cross-axis ball joint, replace the cross-axis ball joint/knuckle as necessary, and replace the toe links with a revised design part.
Customers with additional questions concerning the recall are encouraged to contact Ford Customer Service at 1-800-392-3673 and reference the recall campaign number 21S32.
The latest announcement mirrors a 2019 Ford Explorer recall which impacted 1.2 million model year 2011 through 2017 Explorer vehicles equipped with toe links prone to fracturing.