Roll Away Risk Prompts New Ford Explorer Recall
Last year’s leader in auto recalls is looking to take the crown again in 2023.
Ford Motor Co. recently announced that it is calling back some 230,000 Explorer sport utility vehicles. The cars could lose power or roll away, the company told federal regulators.
A rear axle bolt can fracture, causing the driveshaft or halfshafts to become disconnected and resulting in loss of transmission torque to the rear wheels, Ford said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“The loss of the primary park torque will allow the vehicle to roll in park if the parking brake is not applied, increasing the risk of crash and injury,” Ford said.
The recall covers certain 2020-2022 Ford Explorer SUVs that were produced between October 2018 and July 2022.
This is Ford’s second attempt at addressing the problem in these cars. The company, in 2022, took a stab at resolving the issue by updating the vehicles' powertrain control module software. It later received nearly 400 reports of rear axle failure in SUVs that had received the software update.
NHTSA, over the summer, launched an investigation into the company’s recalls of more than 700,000 Explorer SUVs to determine whether the fix was adequate.
This time around, owners will be asked to take their cars to authorized dealers to have subframe bushing and rear axle bolts replaced. Ford said it would begin notifying owners of recalled vehicles by mail in early November.
Safety Risks for Ford Owners
These kinds of recalls, sadly, are all too common for Ford and the 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.
This year has been much of the same.
Ford recently announced, for example, that it was calling back some 35,000 Mustangs that could unexpectedly lose power on the road. It marks the second time that the vehicles have been recalled over the same problem.
Legal Rights for California Ford Owners
Fortunately, Ford and other car owners in California have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
The lemon law forces car manufacturers to perform a full range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also requires manufacturers to buy back (or replace, in some cases) vehicles that they are unable to or flat-out refuse to fix.
There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must be made in order for the buyback requirement to kick in. An experienced California lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and explore your options.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
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.