There is more bad news for Ford Motor Co. and people who drive certain Explorer Sport Utility vehicles.
Ford issued more safety recalls than any other auto manufacturer last year. Now, it appears that two of those recalls may have not actually fixed the problems they were meant to address.
The National Highway Safety Administration is investigating Ford’s recalls of more than 700,000 Explorer SUVs to determine whether the fix was adequate, Reuters reports. The agency said it has received two complaints from SUV owners whose vehicles were recalled and supposedly repaired.
Ford issued a pair of recalls in March and April 2022, calling back certain 2020-2022 Explorer SUVs. The vehicles’ driveshaft-half shafts may become disconnected, the company said at the time, allowing them to roll away and posing a serious safety threat.
But the company only addressed part of the problem, according to NHTSA.
“Ford’s remedy was to add a software update which automatically applies the electronic service parking brake to keep the vehicle from rolling away in the event of a driveshaft failure,” NHTSA said in a statement announcing the investigation. “However, there is no safety remedy addressing the failed rear axle horizontal mounting bolt which is the basis of this safety issue and the cause of the impaired vehicle.”
One owner complaint highlights the ongoing safety threat.
After the software update "the vehicle would randomly slam to a complete stop while driving,” the owner told NHTSA. “It happened several times with three different drivers (myself, my wife, and my son), each happening at 30-35 mph or less," the owner added.
This is far from the only safety problem for Ford and people who drive its cars.
The company issued more recalls than any other auto manufacturer last year.
Ford announced a total of 67 separate recalls in 2022, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show, far surpassing the 45 recalls by the next closest manufacturer, Volkswagen.
More recently, Ford said in March it was recalling 175,000 Bronco sport utility vehicles because of malfunctioning seatbelts.
How the California Lemon Law Works
There is some good news for Ford owners in the Golden State.
The California lemon law requires carmakers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the manufacturers to buy back covered vehicles that they are not able or refuse to fix.
A car manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle, but it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
California car owners and lessors have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law. You do not need to wait for a recall to get a defective vehicle fixed.
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.