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Ford’s Explorer SUV Recall Investigation


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating Ford Motor Co.’s recall of over 250,000 Explorer SUVs in the United States. This comes after the agency received complaints about repairs meant to prevent the vehicles from unexpectedly rolling away, even while placed in park.

The issue with Ford Explorer SUVs was due to fractures in the rear axle mounting bolt that could lead to the drive shaft disconnecting. A Ford software update was designed to address the problem by applying the electronic parking brake if the drive shaft failed.

According to two complaints lodged by vehicle owners, their SUVs exhibited erratic behavior following the repair. One of the Explorers reportedly stopped abruptly at speeds of 30 to 40 miles per hour, while the other lurched into motion even as the driver was trying to disengage the electronic brake.

Though no injuries were reported, the first driver reportedly hit a utility pole when the Explorer started rolling downhill after an abrupt stop, possibly caused by the drivetrain being disengaged. Both reported incidents occurred with 2021 models instead of those covered by the original recall.

The recall initially covered several models, including certain 2020 through 2022 Explorers with 2.3-liter engines, 3-liter and 3.3-liter hybrids, and 3-liter ST. Also included were 2020 and 2021 Explorer Police hybrids and those with 3.3-liter gas engines.

Ford said it is currently working with the NHTSA on this matter.

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