Ford Authority

2011-2013 Ford Explorer Recalled Over Rear Suspension Safety Issue

Ford Motor Company is recalling select 2011-2013 Ford Explorer models due to a defective cross-axis ball joint (CABJ) replacement part. This follows two previously issued recalls related to rear suspension toe links in 2011-2017 and 2013-2017 Explorer models.

The defect: in affected vehicles, the replacement cross-axis ball joint could seize and result in a fracture of the outboard section of the rear suspension toe link.

The hazards: in affected vehicles, the seized cross-axis ball joint could result in a fracture of the outboard section of the rear suspension toe link, which can lead to a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this issue.

Components: replacement cross-axis ball joint.

Affected vehicles: select 2011-2013 Ford Explorer models with build dates through September 3rd, 2012, that are registered, have ever been registered, or were sold in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

Number of vehicles affected: 126,033 vehicles.

  • 2011 = 39,747
  • 2012 = 41,572
  • 2013 = 44,714

The fix: dealers will conduct a torque inspection of the CABJ, and replace the CABJ, knuckle, and/or toe link as necessary.

Owners should: wait for communications from Ford, which will begin on November 1st, 2021. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S43.


  • Ford Customer Service: 1-866-436-7332
  • FoMoCo Recall Number: 21S31
  • NHTSA Toll-Free: 1-888-327-4236
  • NHTSA (TTY): 1-800-424-9153
  • NHTSA Website:

We’ll have the latest on all Ford Motor Company recalls as they’re issued, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Kenyon L Fugate

    With the insane prices of new cars and trucks you would think Ford could put a quality product out without so many recalls. It’s almost a liability to buy a new vehicle and you wouldnt even know it when you bought it. You just have to assume something bad is going to happen on the road or somebody has to get hurt or die in a crash before something gets done.


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