Approximately 35,000 Lincoln and Ford SUVs have been recalled, due to a risk that certain models may not have proper seat locking rail systems, which could allow the seats move during an accident.
A Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on November 29, following reports of problems with a supplier’s seat assembly production, which resulted in some vehicles not being properly equipped with one or both J-channel reinforcement brackets on the second row seats.
Both the Navigator and Expedition vehicles impacted by the recall are equipped with an adjustable seat in the center of the second row. Ford’s Critical Concerns Review Group identified the issue in August after reviewing installation records from its J-Channel parts supplier and opened a preliminary investigation. Investigators discovered a series of inconsistencies during installation and advised a full investigation be conducted.
In September, Ford and its J-Channel supplier, Magna Seating of America Inc., jointly opened an investigation into the matter and discovered a percentage of vehicles may not have received locking mechanisms on the seats, increasing the risk of injury to an occupant in the second row center seat.
Occupants of the center seat that are involved in a crash could be subject to whiplash and ejection risks due to the seat not being locked in position. Ford is advising customers to not seat individuals in the center seat until the vehicle has been inspected and repaired.
The recall includes an estimated 34,946 model year 2018 Expedition and model year 2018 Lincoln Navigators SUV’s. Recalled vehicles were distributed throughout the United States for sale at licensed Ford dealers.
Ford is planning to notify owners of the recall and will provide instructions on how to receive a free repair at their local dealer, where dealers will be instructed to inspect the center seat for missing J-Channel reinforcement brackets. The recall is expected to begin on December 17, 2018. Customers with additional questions or concerns may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 and reference the recall campaign number 18S37.