Ford Motor Company is one of the most well-known American automakers, as one of the largest and oldest manufacturers in the country, they are known for their long-standing legacy. In 1917, Ford acquired Lincoln Motor Company, and in 1920, the whole company was reorganized to become a manufacturer alongside Ford. By the 1940’s, Lincoln became the luxury nameplate for Ford—creating an elevated image for the company. Despite this fascinating legacy, there have been many hurdles for the company over the years. As companies expand into mass production, there is more room for error—something we’ve seen through some of the most recent recalls issued by the manufacturer, which highlight the severity of their underlying problems.
In 2021, Ford Motor Company has been on a roll in terms of the number of recalls they have issued for their vehicles. On July 16th, 2021, Ford announced a trio of safety recalls for the Explorer, F-350 and Lincoln Aviator. Prior recalls for these vehicles released in 2021 include a Backup Camera Recall, a Roof Rail Covers Recall, a Washer Fluid Recall, and a Lower Control Arm Bolt Recall. These recalls are much less grave than the trio of recalls released this July, which were noted to cause an increased risk of crash or fire. Over 850,000 vehicles across North America are covered under these recalls. The largest number of vehicles come from the recall for Ford Explorer vehicles at approximately 774,696, as more model years included.
Ford Explorer Recall – Clunking Noise, Stiff Steering, Misalignment and more…
Perhaps the most severe of the three recalls due to the number of vehicles affected and the allegations of injury by consumers, is Safety Recall 21S32. The primary issue behind this recall is that a cross-axis ball joint could seize, fracturing the rear suspension toe link in the vehicle. To better understand this issue, it’s best to understand the functions of these components in the first place.
The cross-axis ball joint generally serves as the primary connection between the other suspension components and the wheel carrier in the rear of the vehicle which supports the wheel bearing, subsequently supporting the wheels of the automobile. They are typically used in lieu of elastomer bushings, because of their capability to transfer high dynamic forces. Their other remarkable benefit is that they do not restore torque the way that bushings do. In essence, these small components tend to have a lot of control over the vehicle’s overall movements. If something happens to the ball joint, it could seriously affect other parts of the suspension, potentially resulting in catastrophe.
In these cases, the cross-axis ball joints get stuck and are unable to move. If this occurs, it could fracture the rear suspension toe link of the vehicle. The role of the rear toe link in a vehicle is to maintain the rear wheels of the vehicle at a proper angle so that they coincide with the motions of the front wheels while also keeping the wheels grounded. A fracture greatly increases the risk of steering control loss for the driver. Other symptoms include a clunking noise, steering stiffness, atypical handling, and misalignment of a rear wheel.
Many consumers have experienced these issues—one consumer mentioned that his vehicle would not turn at all. Another mentioned that one of the rear wheels completely detached from the rear suspension and they were unable to steer the vehicle. According to the Ford, there have been six separate allegations noted where this issue has resulted in injury. Ford has mentioned that this primarily occurs to vehicles that are in “high-corrosion” states. Prior to this current recall, there have been two similar recalls issued in 2019 and 2020 for the same problem.
So, how does Ford plan to resolve the issue this time? For the recall in 2019, they replaced the rear suspension toe links and rear wheel knuckle, and in 2020, they replaced the cross-axis ball joint knuckle. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Ford plans to do the exact same thing to resolve this: replace the rear suspension toe links and cross-axis ball joint knuckle. If you have experienced this issue with your Ford Explorer, it could be a lemon!
Affected years: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017
Ford F-350 Recall for Axle Problems
While only about 34,939 have been included in Ford Safety Recall 21S31, the potential disconnection of the F-350 driveshaft significantly increases the risk of crash creating major cause for concern. A driveshaft is one of the foundational components of a vehicle, a key aspect of the vehicle’s drivetrain, as it serves as a transmitter of torque between the engine and the wheels on four wheel and rear wheel drive vehicles. Additionally, the driveshaft transmits the transmission’s turning motion to the axle—making it central in the overall driving function of your vehicle. While the disconnected driveshaft is the main issue, it originates from a welding defect in the spring seats.
Fortunately for Ford, there have been no allegations of accidents or injuries—but what could happen if this complication did take place? A few notable symptoms include shuddering during acceleration, loss of motive power or difficulty turning, vibrations at highway speeds and unusual sounds such as squeaking, rattling, scraping, or clanking. Consumers have recognized some of these symptoms in their own vehicles, according to complaints received by the NHTSA. On F350 owner noted that his vehicle was shuddering so much that he nearly lost control of the vehicle, while second owner mentioned awful vibrations during acceleration.
For those included in the recall, Ford plans to rectify this issue by making a weld repair on the spring seats, if a deformation is noted during the inspection. If you have experienced some of these symptoms, take your vehicle in for the recall—and if you’ve already taken it in a few times for this—it could be a lemon!
Affected years: 2020 and 2021 F-350s with a 6.7-liter Engine and Single Rear Wheel Axle
Lincoln Aviator Recall for Risk of Fire
The third and final recall released on July 16th by Ford Motor Company is for the Lincoln Aviator, one of their luxury vehicles. In contrast to the prior two recalls, Recall 21S34 notes a potential fire risk. This recall affects approximately 40,995 vehicles worldwide, but luckily, there are no allegations of accidents, injuries, or fires—not even any NHTSA complaints. A risk of fire, however, is extremely dangerous—so it is crucial to be aware of where this stems from.
The hazard is a result of a defect in the battery cable wire harness, which Ford has found to not always be properly secured. Consequently, the wire harness could rub against the A/C compressor pulley—which may eventually ruin the wire harness insulation, potentially causing the pulley to come into contact with the unfused battery circuit. This could ensue a short circuit and fire. Ford plans to mend this by adding a tie strap between the battery cable harness and engine compartment harness and by replacing the A/C compressor belt if needed. Ford also states that they might replace the battery cable depending on the damage within the vehicle. Regardless of whether you know if you have this issue or not, it is critical to take your vehicle in for the recall, particularly because there are no clear symptoms that can diagnose the defect until disaster strikes.
Affected years: 2020 and 2021 with 3.0-Liter Gas Engines
What To Do If You’ve Experienced Any of the Aforementioned Issues with Your Ford
Maybe you have experienced these Issues with your vehicle, or maybe you have yet to experience these issues but are worried that you may soon. It is crucial to stay informed on known defects on your vehicle! At the Lemon Law Experts, great help is just a phone call away. Our team of Lemon Law Experts have been helping California consumers with their automobile lemon law claims for over a decade.
Below is a brief list of what you should do if you have experienced issues with your Ford Power Tailgate:
- Take your vehicle in for repairs at an authorized Ford dealership.
- Make sure all your concerns are noted accurately by the authorized service dealership on the repair records.
- Keep copies of all your repair records and receipts!
If you have taken your vehicle to the dealership for warranty repair work related to these issues on two or more separate occasions, you may have a lemon under California Lemon Law and you could be entitled to a refund!
Contact the Lemon Law Experts Today!
If you are interested in pursuing a potential lemon law claim for your Ford, call our team of Lemon Law Experts today. We do not charge you for our representation and our consultations are always fast and free. At our law firm, Lemon Law is all that we do. We have the proven track record, results, and team to provide you with excellent lemon law representation to get you the results you deserve.