Exploring the Scope of the Investigation
US auto safety authorities announced last Saturday their intention to scrutinize Ford Motor's past recalls of approximately 710,000 Explorer SUVs. This comes following reports of power loss, prompting regulators to question whether the proposed solution is effective.
Background of Ford Explorer Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mentioned that the second largest US automaker issued recalls in April 2022 and March on Ford Explorer SUVs from the 2020-2022 model years. The main concern was a rear axle horizontal mounting bolt, which could potentially fracture and disconnect the driveshaft, leading to major safety concerns.
The Doubts Over Ford's Fix
Ford’s proposed solution has been to introduce a software update that automatically applies the electronic service parking brake. This is to prevent the vehicle from rolling away if the driveshaft fails. However, the NHTSA points out that there is no remedy to address the core safety issue, which is the faulty rear axle horizontal mounting bolt. This failure, the agency states, is the primary cause of the vehicle's impairment.
Reports Post-Recall Fix
The NHTSA has said it has received two complaints alleging a loss of power or transmission torque of the rear wheels in Explorer vehicles that had received the recall fix. This raises questions about the efficacy of Ford's solution and whether it fully addresses the safety issues at hand.