Ford Explorer Defect Has Caused 13 Accidents So Far

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The Blue Oval is now taking action.

If you're the owner of a 2013 to 2017 Ford Explorer, then you need to know about this latest issue. According to the automaker, a select group of Explorers from these specified model years are being recalled in North America due to a problem that can significantly diminish steering control. This needs to be taken seriously because Ford states it is aware of 13 accidents and six injuries that have occurred as a result. These numbers haven't changed as of this writing.

A total of 350,000 units in the US and an additional 25,200 in Canada are affected. All of the SUVs were built at the automaker's Chicago Assembly Plant from early September 2012 to late January 2017. The issue at hand involves a potential fracture of the SUV's outboard section of the rear suspension toe link.

2011-2015 Ford Explorer Front Angle View Ford
2016-2017 Ford Explorer In Motion Ford
2011-2015 Ford Explorer Rear Angle View Ford

Ford says some registered Explorers "have experienced this fracture…after completion of a prior safety recall repair." A fracture could lead to said loss of steering control and, therefore, a greater risk of a crash. Fortunately, Ford already has a fix ready to go. Dealerships will need to perform a torque inspection of the SUV's cross-axis ball joint and replace it completely if significant corrosion and/or a fracture is found. The repairs will be done free of charge, as always.

Ford has not yet announced when the recall will officially get underway, but these Explorer owners should receive an official notice in the very near future.

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2016-2017 Ford Explorer Central Console Ford
2011-2015 Ford Explorer Interior Overview Ford
2016-2017 Ford Explorer Maximum Rear Cargo Space Ford

The fifth-generation Explorer, produced from 2011 until early last year, is notable because it was built on a unibody FWD with optional AWD structure instead of a body-on-frame chassis, meaning it was car-based, not truck.

Essentially, the Explorer became a crossover. It even shared that platform, originally developed by Volvo, with the now-discontinued Taurus sedan. For today's sixth-generation, which is not part of this recall, the Explorer returned to a rear-wheel-drive platform and AWD is available once again.

2016-2017 Ford Explorer Rear Three-Quarter Left Side View Ford
2016-2017 Ford Explorer Foot Trunk Opener Sensor Ford
2016-2017 Ford Explorer Rear Three-Quarter Right Side View Ford

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