After receiving complaints about modifications meant to stop vehicles from unexpectedly rolling away while in park, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, is looking into Ford’s recall of more than a quarter million Explorer SUVs in the U.S.
The initial recall covers particular 2020 through 2022 Explorers with 2.3-liter engines and three-liter and 3.3-liter hybrids.
According to the agency, the issue was fixed by a software update created to deploy the electronic parking brake if the drive shaft failed and was attributed to fractures of a rear axle mounting bolt that might cause the drive shaft to disengage. However, two vehicle owners claim that their SUVs began acting erratically after the repair.
One of the incidents apparently had the Explorer coming to a complete stop at up to 30 or 40 mph. In another instance, when the driver was trying to remove the electronic brake, it allegedly would suddenly start moving. There were no injuries recorded in these incidents. However, the first driver claimed that his Explorer continued rolling downhill after an abrupt stop, possibly due to disengaging the powertrain.
Particular 2020 through 2022 Explorers with 2.3-liter engines, 3-liter and 3.3-liter hybrids, and the 3-liter ST were included in the initial recall. In addition, the Explorer Police hybrids and those with 3.3-liter gas engines from 2020 and 2021 were also listed. In both of the recorded occurrences, the 2021 Explorers were involved.
According to a Ford official, the automaker is actively collaborating with the NHTSA on the issue.