Ford Motor Co. announced three safety-related recalls Friday, covering 850,630 vehicles built and sold primarily in the U.S. market, with the two of the recalls affecting vehicles built at its Chicago Assembly Plant.
2013-17 Ford Explorer
The lion’s share of today’s recalls, 774,696 vehicles, pertain to the 2013-17 Ford Explorer vehicles (Ford’s recall reference number: 21S32). The recall affects 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.
The affected vehicles were built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant between Sept. 4, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2017, and the company’s Elabuga Assembly Plant in Russia from Jan. 28, 2013 through July 28, 2017.
This recall involves cross-axis ball joints, which are used in place of bushings for vehicles with higher load or articulation requirements. The part might seize, causing a fractured rear suspension toe link that significantly diminishes steering control and increases the risk of a crash. If you’ve noticed a clunking noise, experienced unusual handling or observed a misaligned rear wheel, your Explorer could have the problem, especially if you live in an area that experiences cold winter weather, high relative humidity and substantial road salt use.
The repair involves inspecting and then replacing the cross-axis ball joint/knuckle if necessary, and replacing the toe links with a redesigned part.
Ford says that there are six allegations of injury related to this condition in North America. Owners will be notified beginning the week of Aug. 23. Ford is also providing a customer satisfaction program for vehicles not sold or registered in corrosion states, but did not release any details.
2020-21 Ford F-350 Super Duty
Ford is also recalling 34,939 Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup trucks equipped with the 6.7-liter engine and a single rear wheel axle built at its Kentucky Truck Plant between Aug. 6, 2020 and May 15, 2021 (Ford’s recall reference number: 21S31). Of those vehicles, 34,855 vehicles were sold in North America, with the remainder were sold internationally.
The company says these trucks may have a rear axle housing spring seat interface weld issue that can cause the rear driveline to disconnect. Ford says that affected vehicles transmit a vibration and/or shaking at highway speeds, and/or shuddering when accelerating. If the driveshaft disconnects, there will be a loss of power while driving or a the ability to engage the transmission’s park option unless the parking brake is applied.
Dealers will inspect the rear axle, and if it is deformed, the axle housing will be replaced. If axle is not deformed, dealers will weld repair the spring seats.
Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries resulting from this defect. Owners will be notified beginning the week of Aug. 16.
2020-21 Lincoln Aviator
Finally, Ford is recalling 40,995 2020-21 Lincoln Aviators equipped with the 3.0-liter gas engine. Of those affected vehicles, 36,258 vehicles were sold in North America, 2,601 in Ford’s International Markets Group, and 2,136 in China, and built at Chicago Assembly Plant between June 19, 2019 and Jan. 5, 2021.
In this case, the Aviator’s battery cable wire harness may not be properly secured, allowing contact with air-conditioner 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.
To fix the problem, Ford will add tie straps to the affected area and replace any damaged parts including the battery cable harness, and the air-conditioner compressor belt.
Ford is not aware of any accidents, injuries or fires related to this recall (Ford’s recall reference number: 21S34).
Owners will be notified beginning the week of July 30.
Ford Recalls – Frequently Asked Questions
Which Ford models are being recalled?
2020-2021 Ford F-350 Super Duty, 2013-2017 Ford Explorer, and the 2020-2021 Lincoln Aviator.
How do I know if my Ford has been recalled?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration works with automakers concerning safety recalls. You can find out if your vehicle is affected the agency’s recall page: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.
Do dealerships fix recalls for free?
Yes. If the dealer does not, contact the manufacturer, and file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.