Ford Motor Company is recalling about 675,000 Ford Explorer SUVs because of concerns that the rear suspension could fracture and potentially cause in a crash. According to Consumer Reports, the recall includes vehicles from the 2013 to 2017 model years. The fracture of the suspension could be triggered by a cross-axis ball joint that seizes, causing a rear suspension link to crack. If the component breaks apart, it could compromise the vehicle’s steering, putting drivers, passengers, and other road users in danger.
As a result, a fracture in the rear toe link would diminish steering, creating a hazard. Ford says drivers who experience this problem may notice a clunking noise, unusual vehicle handling or a misaligned rear wheel. The vehicles at greatest risk are located in high-corrosion states or in regions with a combination of cold winter weather with relatively high humidity and substantial road salt use. Ford has said it is aware of six reports of injuries related to this condition in North America.
When the automaker begins notifications in August, dealers will inspect the cross-axis ball joint, replace the joint/knuckle as necessary, and replace the toe links with a revised design part at no cost to consumers. The recalled vehicles were manufactured at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant between Sept. 4, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2017. Owners may contact Ford customer service with questions at 800-392-3673.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Suspension issues are serious and are likely to result in car accidents. Vehicles with faulty suspensions are more prone to spinning out of control on a curve or in the rain. A vehicle’s suspension can also affect the wear and tear on the tires and other auto parts.
While this recall involves vehicles originally sold in the “Salt Belt” states, it is important to remember that many of these vehicles may make their way to other states through the used car market or when people move and sell their vehicles in the states where they reside.
If you have been involved in an auto accident involving a defective auto, it would be in your best interest to preserve the vehicle in its current crashed state, unaltered, so an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases against large auto manufacturers. In cases where a defective auto part has caused or contributed to an accident or injury, the victim can file an auto product liability lawsuit seeking compensation for damages.