Ford Explorer Recall: 775,000 Cars May Have Rear Suspension Problems

The recall campaign affects 2013 - 2017 model Explorers

2016 Ford Explorer
2016 Ford Explorer (Image: Ford)

Ford has started a worldwide safety recall campaign for select fifth-generation Explorers.

2013-2017 Ford Explorers may experience a seized cross-axis ball joint that can cause a fractured rear suspension toe link. According to Ford, the recall affects approximately 676,152 vehicles in North America, 59,935 Explorers in China, 13,162 in Europe, 190 in South America and 25,257 in other international markets are affected as well. In total, the campaign covers nearly 775,000 vehicles.

Ford has stated that they are aware of 6 injuries related to this defect in North America:

“In the U.S., the affected vehicles are located in high-corrosion states as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or in regions with a combination of cold winter weather with relative high humidity and substantial road salt use. – 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 Motor Company

The U.S. Explorers in the recall came from Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant between Sept. 4, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2017. The other batch of Explorers in question were built at the Elabuga Assembly Plant in Russia between Jan. 28, 2013 and July 28, 2017.

Once the owner receives a notification from Ford (which will begin August 23, 2021), they can bring their vehicles to a Ford dealer. Once there, the dealer’s maintenance department will inspect the cross-axis ball joint. If necessary, they will replace the cross-axis ball joint/knuckle, and replace the toe links with an updated component.

Ford’s reference number for this recall is 21S32.

For additional information, you can visit the NHTSA or head over to Ford’s recall page. You can also contact the Customer Relationship Center at (800) 392-3673 in the U.S., or (800) 565-3673 in Canada.

According to the automaker, Ford will be providing a customer satisfaction program for vehicles not sold or registered in corrosion-prone states.