Ford Recalls Millions of Explorer SUVs for Trim Retention Issue

Ford Recalls 2.24 Million Explorer SUVs Due to Trim Retention Problem

Ford Motor has issued a recall for approximately 2.24 million older Explorer sport utility vehicles (SUVs) worldwide, including 1.89 million SUVs in the United States. The reason for the recall is a potential problem with trim retention clips not being properly engaged. This safety concern has prompted the recall of Explorer SUVs manufactured between 2011 and 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the recall on Wednesday.

The Recall and Safety Concerns

The primary issue this recall addresses is the possibility of trim detachment, particularly the A-pillar trim. The A-pillar in a vehicle is the metal component that provides structural support for the windshield. In the affected Explorer SUVs, there is a risk that the A-pillar trim may not be adequately secured, which could result in it detaching from the vehicle. Ford emphasizes that it is currently unaware of any reports of accidents, crashes, or injuries related to this recall.

Inspection and Replacement

As part of the recall, Ford dealerships will conduct inspections of the A-pillar trim on the affected vehicles and replace it if necessary. Owners of these vehicles are advised to look for signs such as visible gaps around the A-pillar trim or audible rattles and excessive wind noise from that area. If any of these issues are observed, it is crucial to have the vehicle inspected and, if required, have the trim replaced to ensure safety.

Recall History and Response

The history of this recall reveals that it has been a topic of concern for several years. In 2018, Ford received an informal inquiry from NHTSA regarding exterior A-pillar trim parts detachments, specifically on 2012-2014 Explorer vehicles. At that time, Ford evaluated and determined that the issue did not pose an unreasonable safety risk, leading to no recall action.

However, in 2021, Ford revisited the matter and reevaluated the situation. Again, the conclusion was that no recall was necessary. The situation took a turn in February 2023 when NHTSA initiated a preliminary investigation to assess the problem further. This heightened scrutiny prompted Ford to reevaluate the issue.

Safety Concerns and Regulatory Actions

The safety of motorists is a top priority, and regulatory agencies like NHTSA play a vital role in ensuring vehicle safety. NHTSA’s preliminary investigation identified the trim detachment issue as a potential road safety hazard to other vehicles. Additionally, Ford acknowledged receiving 14,337 warranty reports concerning missing or detached exterior A-pillar trim parts, further highlighting the significance of the problem.

Checking Your Vehicle for Recalls

Owners of Ford Explorer SUVs falling within the affected model years should take this recall seriously. You can visit Ford’s official website to check if your vehicle is included in the recall. You can enter your vehicle’s identification details to determine if it requires inspection and potential trim replacement. Ensuring your vehicle is in safe and proper condition is essential for the safety of both you and others on the road.

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Photo by Adnan Pervaiz on Unsplash

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