Ford Issues Giant Recall to Fix Explorer Suspension Problem

July 16, 2021 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Ford Motor Co. is recalling about 850,000 vehicles, with most being Ford Explorer SUVs with a potential suspension problem.

The other recalls involve the Ford F-350 pickup truck and the Lincoln Aviator SUV.

The biggest recall involves 774,696 Ford Explorers from the 2013-2017 model years.

Some suffer from a seized cross-axis ball joint that may cause a fracture of the rear suspension toe link. If that happens, the driver could hear a clunk noise, and then notice unusual handling or a misaligned rear wheel. A fractured rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control and increases the risk of a crash. Ford said it has six complaints of injuries resulting from the problem.

About 676,000 of the recalled Explorers were sold in North America. Ford sold the rest in international markets.

The vehicles displaying the problem in the U.S. are located in what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls high-corrosion states. Those are regions with a combination of cold winter weather with relatively high humidity and substantial road salt use.

Ford plans to notify owners of the recall the week of Aug. 23. The notice will tell owners to take the vehicles to dealers. Service technicians will 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. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S32.

F-350 SUPER DUTY RECALL

The Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup truck recall is for 2020-2021 models equipped with a 6.7-liter engine and single rear wheel axle. They may have a rear axle housing spring seat interface weld issue.

That recall affects 34,939 trucks. The pickups could experience a rear driveline disconnection. Customers may experience vibration and/or shaking while driving at highway speeds, and/or shuddering upon acceleration. In the event of a disconnected driveshaft, customers may experience loss of power while driving or loss of transmission park function if the parking brake is not applied, increasing the risk of a crash.

Ford said is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition. It will notify owners of the recall the week of Aug. 16. Dealers will inspect the rear axle to determine if deformation is present. If the technicians find a deformed axle, they will replace the axle housing. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S31.

LINCOLN AVIATOR RECALL

The Lincoln Aviator recall involves vehicles from the 2020-2021 models years equipped with 3-liter gas engines. They may have improperly secured battery cable wire harnesses. The recall includes 40,999 SUVs.

An improperly secured e battery cable wire harness may make contact with the air conditioning compressor pulley. Over time, the pulley may rub through the wire harness insulation and contact the unfused battery positive circuit, resulting in a short circuit and potential fire.

Ford said it is not aware of any accidents, injuries or fires resulting from the problem.

Owner notifications will begin the week of July 30. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S34.

Jerry Hirsch June 28, 2021
Ford offers a wide range of choices and buyers won’t go wrong with either the hybrid or the 2.7-liter model of the F-150 pickup truck.

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