Ford Motor Co is Recalling Nearly 775,000 Ford Explorer Models a Second Time for Rear Suspension Problem
U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co is facing another big safety recall. The automaker announced on Friday that it recalled approximately 774,696 Ford Explorer models to inspect rear cross axle ball joints which may seize up. The Explorer models affected are 2013 through 2017 model year vehicles.
Owner notifications will begin the week of Aug. 23.
The seized cross-axis ball joint for the rear suspension on the Explorer models may cause a fracture of the rear toe link. Ford said that affected vehicles may experience a clunking noise, unusual handling, or a misaligned rear wheel due to the seized ball joint. However if the tow link breaks, a driver may experience a significantly diminished steering control, which could increase the risk of a crash.
The recall affects approximately 676,152 vehicles in North America, 59,935 in China, 25,257 in Ford's International Markets Group, 13,162 in Europe and 190 in South America.
All of the affected U.S. vehicles are located in high-corrosion states as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or in regions with a combination of cold winter weather with relative high humidity and substantial road salt use, which tends to lead to corrosion and rusting of metal suspension components.
Ford however is providing a customer satisfaction program for vehicles not sold or registered in corrosion states.
The U.S. vehicles affected were built at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant between Sept. 4, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2017. Ford said its aware of six reports of injuries related to this condition in North America.
Dealers will inspect the cross-axis ball joint, replace the cross-axis ball joint/knuckle assembly and replace the toe links with a new, revised design.
Ford was aware of the problem since last year, when it issued a safety recall in Nov 2020 affecting the same components and Explorer vehicles. The safety recall last year was for the toe link itself, which can break. Now its been discovered that the seized cross axle ball joint that integrated into the knuckle is contributing to the added stress on the toe link, which prompted the second recall of the Ford Explorer SUV in eight months.
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