Ford Authority

Ford Admits To Errors In 2020 Ford Explorer Launch

Ford spent many millions of dollars to revamp the Chicago Assembly Plant to build the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Police Interceptor Utility. The Explorer is a huge seller for the Blue Oval, and it needed a very smooth launch, but things didn’t go that way for the automaker. Right out of the gate, there were mysterious problems with the vehicles built at the Chicago Assembly Plant, requiring them to be sent to the Flat Rock Plant south of Detroit for repairs to be made before being sent to dealerships for sale.

The issue was significant enough that it hurt sales for the Explorer and put Ford CEO Jim Hackett on the hot seat. Ford has now admitted that there were problems with the launch of the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer and is talking about what happened. Officials acknowledge the errors in the rush to get the vehicle into production.

The result of that rush was vehicles rolling off the assembly line with faulty seats, loose wiring harnesses and digital displays that didn’t work. Ford execs have admitted they tried to do too much, too fast, and the extremely important product launch was botched. Ford’s President of Automotive Joe Hinrichs said the fumble on the launch of the Explorer and Aviator was “a rarity.” He admitted the automaker took on more than it had before, and it was too much for the plant to handle.

As for why the vehicles were shipped to Flat Rock, there was no space around the Chicago Assembly plant to make the repairs. Hinrichs says that the kinks are worked out now and that things are going smoothly. Ford doesn’t foresee such a massive changeover coming in its future.

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Source: Detroit News

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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  1. Chris Blanchard

    Ford does //not// see a massive changeover in the near future??. Someone should tell Hinrichs and Hackett to read Ford Authority so they know what’s going on outside the Glass House. The Bronco, Baby Bronco, Mach E, Electric F150 and the level 5 commercial vehicle all are currently scheduled to debut before the end of 2021; that to me is near future.
    Their launch record is less than ideal: the first gen MKZ launch was fumbled, early cars were sent to Flat Rock for fixes (deja vu), chronic problems with the 2013 Escape, the same for the Contour/Mystique/Cougar,

  2. MDM

    Don’t think they are completely out of the woods yet!!

    Co-worker just took delivery of new Explorer last week. Was back in the dealership that night. Air Bag warning light, Check Engine light, Inoperative Cruise, Could not be shifted out of park. Still not back.

    And the vehicle had 20 miles on it so in all likelihood was “reworked” at Flat Rock. Makes you wonder how bad it was prior to “rework”.

    Hope they get this all fixed. It is a good looking vehicle and drives very nice.

  3. LuAnne Reed

    We bought a 2019 Ford Explorer and the transmission had to be replaced with less than 4,000 miles. They offered an extended warranty. Big deal! It should be replaced!! Will never recommend to deal with the Ford Motor Co.

  4. Drew

    Never buy a ford again! Currently own a 15 sport and the worst experience ever— FORD- FIX Or Repair Daily
    And After a few years not much has changed— forget about it— im done with ford and there Nonsense


    I owned 3 Explorers in the past, I have read all the reviews. Every write up is the same great power— CHEAPER ! interior when compared to the Korean competitor. But Ford has SCOOTERS and BIKES. The awful launch of this Flagship , my only relief is our 50 year Ford Dealership is gone ——

  6. Tom

    The new Explorer is overpriced for what you get. I have looked at the 2020 cheaper looking interiors in comparison to my ’17 XLT Explorer. If going to cheapen the interior then price it accordingly. For a couple thousand more you can get the cheapest Lincoln Aviator with more bells and whistles than the fully loaded Explorer. Unfortunately the new foreign (Korean) Suv’s have the 2020 explorer beat all to hell and my sales person is also in agreement especially about price and quality.


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