Ford is recalling nearly 1.9 million Explorer SUVs in the U.S. because a trim piece can fly off and create a hazard for other drivers. Documents posted Wednesday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say that clips holding the trim that covers the roof supports close to the windshield can come loose; and if that happens, the trim piece can fly off and increase the risk of a crash.
The recall covers Explorers from the 2011 through 2019 model years; it comes after U.S. regulators opened an investigation into the problem last January after receiving 164 consumer complaints. Canadian regulators also inquired about the problem.
According to the documentation from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford initially decided against a recall, citing the low mass of the part, but decided to do the recall after U.S. regulators determined the problem was a safety hazard. Consumers can also reach the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit www.nhtsa.gov.
Ford said in a statement Wednesday that it expects only 5% of the recalled Explorers to be affected by the problem, and it encourages owners to contact dealers for an inspection when parts are available. Dealers will inspect the trim pieces to make sure the clips are engaged and add adhesive to hold them in place. The company said that it’s aware of 568 consumer complaints and more than 14,000 warranty reports alleging that the parts were missing or detached. Ford said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries from the problem.
Owners will be notified starting March 13, with a second letter to follow when a remedy is available. Consumers with questions about their vehicles can contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 24S02.
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