Ford Motor Company is issuing a safety recall for 350,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 25,200 in Canada for 2013-17 Ford Explorer vehicles. Some affected Explorers, sold or registered in rust inducing areas of North American states and provinces where corrosion is common, have experienced a fracture of the outboard section of the rear suspension toe link after completion of a prior safety recall repair. A fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash. Ford is aware of 13 reports of accidents and six reports of injuries related to this condition.
Affected vehicles were built at Chicago Assembly Plant from Sept. 4, 2012, to Jan. 25, 2017. Dealers will complete a torque inspection of the cross-axis ball joint and replace it, as necessary. The Ford reference number for this recall is 20S.
The actions of Ford dealers do not inspire confidence or reflect a concern for the safety of customers based on the complaints in the NHTSA file. Here’s one:
“Had the rear toe links replaced due to a safety recall December 2, 2019. On 09/27/20, I was returning home after dropping my kids off traveling 70 mph on a highway, when the recall part I had replaced less than a year ago break. This caused me to lose control and have an accident. I notified Ford of this 09/28/20 and I was informed that the recall was completed, nothing they could do. I informed them the part broke at the weld which is a defective part. Again, I was told not their problem. This has caused my vehicle to be towed , damage to the rear bumper and myself buying a new part out of pocket to get vehicle on road again to go to work. This is also any other problems that it may have caused due to stress on vehicle, like other toe link, tires, brakes, other suspension parts. Enclosed is part and part number that was the recall part replaced by a ford dealership and damage to vehicle. I was lucky I did not hit the other vehicles around me, hit head on with center divider or guardrail, roll the vehicle or have serious injury.”