Ford Motor Company announced a major recall of nearly 1.9 million Explorer SUVs in the U.S. due to an issue with trim pieces that cover the windshield falling off while driving. This expands upon an earlier recall from 2021 covering over 774,000 vehicles for the same problem.
Background on the Explorer Trim Recall Issue
The recall covers 2011-2019 model year Ford Explorer vehicles. According to Ford, the retention clips that secure interior windshield trim pieces can fail over time. If the clips break, the trim pieces can detach while driving, creating a road hazard for other vehicles.
So far, Ford is aware of 18 alleged injury reports potentially related to the issue. Andover, Massachusetts resident Maggie Smith is one of those affected. Last March her 2011 Explorer’s windshield molding detached without warning on the highway: “I was doing 65 mph when I saw this object hit my hood and bounce over the roof. It really shook me up not knowing what had happened.”
Ford initially recalled over 774,000 impacted vehicles in 2021. But additional investigation revealed the recall population needed expansion to cover all 2011-2019 Explorers built at Chicago Assembly Plant.
|Initial Explorer Trim Recall
This expanded recall encompasses nearly 1.9 million SUVs in total, over double the initial recall size.
Recall Timeline and Owner Notification
Owners of impacted Explorers will be notified by March 25, 2024. Ford dealers will secure the windshield trim pieces at no charge to customers.
The automaker said they are not aware of any related crashes or injuries resulting from the loose trim pieces, despite complaints submitted to NHTSA. For owners awaiting repairs, Ford advises securing loose moldings with adhesive zip ties or duct tape if theydetach.
Fallout for Ford
This large recall comes at a difficult time for Ford, right on the heels of a series of recalls last year for fire risks and other defects across their lineup. Industry analyst Ed Williamson sees it causing further brand damage: “Between the fire recalls, transmission troubles, and huge number of vehicles affected here, Ford risks leaving customers with an impression that quality and safety are not priorities.”
Replacing trim clips and resecuring windshield moldings on nearly 2 million SUVs will also prove a costly endeavor. Williamson estimates a total price tag reaching into 9 figures for Ford and its dealers to complete all required repairs. They avoided estimating total cost publicly beyond saying customer repairs will be free of charge.
In response to the escalating Explorer recall crisis, Ford says they are implementing additional protective measures at their Chicago Assembly Plant. New training requirements focus on proper windshield installation technique for production workers. They hope this finally resolves the long-running trim piece retention problems, but only time will tell.
Williamson thinks after multiple major recalls and quality control issues, Ford faces a long road to regain consumer confidence: “Shoppers have a lot of great SUV options these days. Ford needs to convince drivers that the Explorer is still safe, reliable transport for their family.” For now, nearly 2 million Explorer owners await repairs from their dealers, hoping these trim pieces don’t jeopardize road safety any further.
This expanded windshield trim recall encompasses a huge number of vehicles, and could mean more open scrutiny and falling sales numbers ahead for Ford’s aging yet popular Explorer SUV.
Table of reference links:
|Initial news article on recall expansion
|Example quote from affected driver
|Earlier 2021 recall details
|Recall and injury figures
|Owner notification timeline
|Repair advice from Ford
|Industry analyst perspective
|Ford’s quality control issues
|My own analysis
|Ford’s additional protective measures
|Industry analyst outlook
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