Ford has initiated a recall for more than 238,000 Explorer SUVs in the United States due to a potential rear axle bolt failure, which could lead to a loss of drive power or unintended rolling when the vehicle is parked. The recall follows concerns raised by U.S. safety regulators after discovering that repairs in previous recalls in 2022 and earlier this year did not resolve the issue.
The affected vehicles are specific models of Explorers from the 2020 through 2022 model years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the problem lies with the rear axle’s horizontal mounting bolt, which can fracture and result in the disconnection of the driveshaft, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.
As part of the recall, authorized dealers will replace a bushing and the rear axle bolt, in addition to inspecting the rear axle cover for damage near the bolt hole. If any damage is detected, the cover will also be replaced. Ford plans to start notifying affected vehicle owners by letter beginning on November 6.
Ford has acknowledged a total of 396 reports of rear axle bolt failures, with fewer than 5% of these cases leading to a loss of power or uncontrolled vehicle movement while in park. Fortunately, the company is not aware of any accidents or injuries resulting from this issue.
You can also read: Morgan State University Announces Security Wall After Homecoming Shooting
The NHTSA commenced its investigation back in June after receiving complaints regarding power loss attributed to rear axle bolt failures, even after previous recall repairs had been performed on the Explorers. Ford’s initial solution involved updating the software to automatically apply the parking brake to prevent unintended vehicle movement, but this did not address the underlying problem of failed axle bolts.
Ford has already begun the process of replacing axle bolts under service campaigns prior to the latest recall.