Ford recalling 2020 Explorer for fire risk

Ford announced Wednesday that is recalling 2020 Explorers for a potential fire hazard posed by an unsecured wiring harness. 

The campaign is limited to models with the 2.3- and 3.3-liter engines. Ford says that part of the harness near the air conditioner pulley can come loose and make contact with it, causing abrasion which can lead to a short-circuit and, potentially, a fire. 

Ford says there are 10,655 Explorers that potentially left the factory with this defect, but nearly all of them are in dealer inventory (or en route). Many 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator deliveries were held up by what has been described as a “highly unusual” series of quality-control issues, which may have contributed to preventing these defective vehicles from getting into the hands of customers. 

Though the Explorer and Aviator are platform-mates, the latter is not subject to this particular recall because it cannot be ordered with either of the two engines in question. Ford says it is not aware of any real-world issues stemming from this defect. 

Ford is also recalling a narrow subset of 2019 F-Series Super Duties for a potential problem with the passenger-side axle shaft in vehicles equipped with an electronic locking rear axle. 

According to Ford, the steel used in this axle shaft may not have been up to Ford’s specifications, which means it could fail. Failure of this shaft in two-wheel-drive mode would cause a loss of propulsion. It would also prevent the park position stop in the transmission from working, which could result in the truck rolling away when parked without the parking brake applied. 

This campaign targets a combined 32,968 vehicles sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The below-standard axles were shipped to both Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant and Ohio Assembly Plant, and any vehicles built at those locations between May 21 and July 26, 2019, with the electronic locking rear axle are subject to the recall. 

Ford recommends that owners take special care to make sure the parking brake is applied whenever their trucks are parked until they’ve been inspected.