Ford Initiates Recall for Inspection of 2023 Explorer's Fastener Issue

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A total of 118 Ford Explorers from the 2023 model year are subject to inspection due to concerns regarding the right lower knuckle-to-strut fastener, which may have been improperly torqued or potentially missing. This recall originates from a manufacturing anomaly associated with the tool utilized for fastener tightening.

Ford's awareness of this issue was triggered on January 9, following a notification regarding a missing fastener on a 2023 Explorer from the warranty claims department. Subsequent investigations revealed that on December 19, 2023, the primary double spindle fixture tool, typically employed for fastener tightening, necessitated repairs. Consequently, Ford's Chicago plant substituted this tool with a backup, described as a "clicker wrench" in documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While seemingly less sophisticated than the "double spindle fixture tool," the clicker wrench lacked the capability to record torque levels during vehicle assembly. Consequently, Ford is unable to ascertain from its production records whether the 118 recalled Explorers underwent proper torque application. Failure to adhere to correct torque specifications could result in potential fastener detachment, leading to sudden changes in tire camber. This, in turn, may induce vehicle pulling and alterations in steering effort, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.

Ford Explorer

Moreover, contact between the brake hose and tire could precipitate a leak, compromising braking performance and elevating the likelihood of a collision. Customers may observe indications such as vehicle pulling, abrupt alterations in steering resistance, or a noticeable discrepancy in the angle of the right wheel compared to the left.

To rectify this issue, Ford is initiating a recall campaign, with notifications scheduled to commence on March 4. Affected owners will be urged to schedule an appointment with a dealer for a thorough strut inspection and subsequent tightening to the prescribed torque specifications, if necessary. It's worth noting that Lincoln Aviator owners need not be concerned about this recall, as their vehicle's struts are configured differently.

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