Ford Is Recalling Over 774,696 Explorers Because Of Possible Seized Ball Joints

Ford says that affected Explorers "may experience a clunk noise."

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Ford said Friday that it is recalling 774,696 Explorers, from model year 2013 through model year 2017 because of a possible ball joint issue. That is in addition to a recall of 40,995 Lincoln Aviators for possible battery wire harness issues, and 34,939 F-350 Super Dutys for “rear axle housing spring seat interface weld issue.” Ford is having a busy Friday.

The Explorer recall is the biggest, with 676,152 of the recalled SUVs in North America, with the rest overseas, including 59,935 in China. Here, Ford says the affected cars are located in “high-corrosion states,” as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or cold states that use a lot of salt in the winter and are also high humidity. There, Ford says some Explorers, “may experience a seized cross-axis ball joint that may cause a fractured rear suspension toe link.”


Ford says that it knows of six different injury allegations related to the recall.

Affected vehicles may experience a clunk noise, unusual handling, or a misaligned rear wheel. Fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.


Ford says it will start trying to reach affected owners beginning August 23, with the remedy being a replacement ball joint and a replacement toe link, the latter part with a “revised design.” This appears to be somewhat related to a recall from November that also addressed corrosion in Explorers from these model years, and Ford is far from being the only manufacturer to deal with corrosion-related recalls in recent years.

On the F-350 Super Duty, Ford says that some 2020-2021 F-350 Super Dutys “for a rear axle housing spring seat interface weld issue.”

Affected vehicles may experience rear driveline disconnection. Customers may experience vibration and/or shaking while driving at highway speeds, and/or shuddering upon acceleration. In the event of a disconnected driveshaft, customers may experience loss of motive power while driving or loss of transmission park function if the parking brake is not applied, increasing the risk of a crash.


Ford says it will start notifying owners August 16, with the fix being either a new axle housing or a weld repair.

Finally, on the Lincoln Aviator, Ford says that some 2020-2021 Aviators have a battery cable wire harness that “may not be properly secured, allowing contact with the A/C compressor pulley.”

Over time, the A/C pulley may rub through the wire harness insulation and contact the unfused battery positive (B+) circuit, resulting in a short circuit and potential fire.


Owners will be notified starting July 30, Ford says. With the Aviator recall and the F-350 Super Duty one, Ford says it isn’t aware of any incidents or injuries.

As always, get your recalls done, though Honda recently recalled my Fit for a corrosion issue with the driveshaft, and I took it to my local dealer, who was of course slammed with work because lots more people are repairing their cars these days, given that the used and new market for cars is temporarily fucked.


My dealer picked up my car on a Sunday and I didn’t get it back until the following Friday, which I didn’t really care about because I don’t need my car for commuting and it amounted to Honda parking my car for free for a week, not nothing in New York City. Still, that is a long time for any repair, let alone a recall, which dealers should be a bit better prepared for. This is probably all working as intended.