The recall is specific to Explorers with hybrid tech and Police Interceptors.
If you own a Ford Explorer with hybrid technology from 2020 or later, or an Explorer Police Interceptor, keep a watch out for a recall notice in the mail. According to a recall filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford is recalling 250,000 Ford Explorers due to a rear axle horizontal mounting bolt that might fracture and cause the driveshaft to disengage. A broken driveshaft is bad enough, but this problem can lead affected Explorers to roll forward while parked if the parking brake is not engaged.
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Ford has issued a recall for 2020-2022 Ford Explorer Hybrids, 2020-2021 Ford Explorer Interceptor Hybrids, an SUV we tested, 2020-2022 Explorer PHEVs, and 2020-2021 Explorer Police Interceptors. “Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Explorer Police FHEV, Explorer Police 3.3L, and 2020-2022 Explorer 2.3L RWD, 3.0L PHEV, 3.3 L FHEV, and 3.0L ST GAS vehicles,” according to the NHTSA document. The horizontal mounting bolt on the rear axle may fracture, causing the driveshaft to disengage.”
The Ford Explorer Plug-in Hybrid may offer impressive fuel economy but we’ve seen it in action on the Autobahn in Germany where it wasn’t exactly supercar fast.
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The rear axle mounting bolt has the potential to fracture during vehicle acceleration, according to Ford’s recall filing. The rear axle housing can shift out of position due to this fracture, resulting in a lot of noise and vibration. “If the rear axle bolt breaks, the driveshaft/half shafts may become separated, resulting in a loss of transmission torque to the rear wheels, which is required to keep the vehicle in park,” Ford continues. If the parking brake is not applied, the car will roll in park due to a lack of primary park torque, increasing the danger of a crash and injury.”
Ford intends to distribute recall letters by June 6, 2022 to address this issue. Explorers that have been affected will be sent to dealerships for examination and repair. Dealers will either replace the bushing and axle cover or update the electronic parking brake software, depending on the Explorer model. According to Ford’s NHTSA filing, this recall will affect 252,936 Explorers.