Ford Recalls Over 238,000 Explorer SUVs Due to Rear Axle Bolt Failure
Ford has announced a recall of more than 238,000 Explorer SUVs in the United States, following concerns that a rear axle bolt could fail, leading to a loss of power or the vehicle rolling while parked. This recall comes after federal government regulators began investigating the issue when two reported repairs failed to rectify the problem, despite previous recalls issued in 2020 and 2021.
The affected models include Ford Explorers from 2020 to 2022, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlighting the consequences of the rear axle horizontal mounting bolt fracturing, causing a driveshaft disconnection and increasing the risk of a crash.
To address this safety concern, Ford dealers will replace the rear axle bearing and bolt. Moreover, they will inspect the rear axle for any damage near the bolt hole and replace the cover if deterioration is detected. Owners of the affected models will be notified via letter, starting from November 6.
According to documents released by the NHTSA, Ford has already received 396 reports of rear axle bolt failures, with less than 5% of cases resulting in a loss of motive power or the vehicle rolling. However, the company confirmed that no crashes or injuries have been reported thus far.
The NHTSA initiated its investigation in June following complaints about loss of motive power due to rear axle bolt failures, even after previous repairs and recalls. Ford’s initial solution involved updating the software that automatically applies the parking brake to prevent vehicles from rolling. However, the agency’s inspection indicated that this remedy did not address the issue of axle bolt failure.
Ford’s decision to recall the 238,000 Explorer SUVs underscores the automaker’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its customers. The company’s prompt response to this potential hazard signals its dedication to resolving the problem effectively.
Owners of the affected vehicles are advised to contact their local Ford dealership, which will provide the necessary inspections and replacement of parts free of charge.