Ford on Monday recalled the Explorer and its Lincoln Aviator cousin, the latest setbacks in a troubled launch for a vehicles critical to the company’s bottom line. Both vehicles have been on sale only a single model year, yet this will be the Explorer’s tenth recall for the current model and the Aviator’s sixth, Roadshow reports.
Ford dropped the ball with both the Explorer and Aviator early on. Its launch was plagued with issues, some so severe that vehicles were recalled before they were delivered to customers. Some customers had problems within days of taking delivery. For example, here’s a shortlist of issues with the Aviator from the Detroit Free Press:
The high-profile Aviator was the focus of two recalls in August, one related to “unintended vehicle movement” while parked; the other involving seats that “may not adequately restrain an occupant in a crash.” In addition, consumer safely alerts from the company noted, vehicles may have instrument clusters that disable warning alerts and fail to display gear positions — drive, reverse, park, neutral. Federal safety regulations require gear positions to be displayed when a vehicle is not in park.
This week’s recall is fairly small; just 1,405 Explorers and Aviators from the 2020 and 2021 model years. The problem lies with the vehicle’s motor mounts, specifically the right side. If not fixed, the mounts could detach. Ford says that it knows of no crashes or injures from this defect.
These SUVs aren’t the only Ford vehicles requiring a recall. Ford has also issued a recall for E-Series vans with the 7.3-liter engine. Affecting nearly 30,000 vans, the vans have improper heat insulation in the passenger compartment. The lack of insulation from the engine heat could potentially cause burns for occupants.
These quality challenges should be concerning for the automaker. Four of Ford’s most anticipated products are either already arriving at dealers’ lots, or will in a few months. The Bronco Sport recently hit dealerships overheating problems that can cause it to go into limp-home mode in off-road driving have been reported. That leaves the Mach-E, another totally new vehicle, and the technically complex Bronco.