Ford Authority

2020-2022 Ford Explorer Recalled Over Rear Axle Bolt Fracture Issue

Ford Motor Company is recalling select 2020-2022 Ford Explorer models due to rear axle bolt fracture issue.

The defect: in affected vehicles, the rear axle mounting bolt may fracture during vehicle acceleration.

The hazards: a fractured rear axle bolt will allow the rear axle housing to move out of position, resulting in severe noise and vibration. If the rear axle bolt breaks, driveshaft/half shafts may become disconnected, resulting in loss of transmission torque to the rear wheels which is necessary to hold the vehicle in park. If the parking brake is not applied, the loss of the primary park torque will allow the vehicle to roll in park, increase the risk of a crash or injury.

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

Components: rear axle mounting bolt.

Affected vehicles: select 2020-2022 Ford Explorer models built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant between October 22nd, 2018, and April 11th, 2022.

The fix: dealers will replace the defective rear axle mounting bolts with new parts, free of charge.

Owners should: wait for communications from Ford, which will begin by the end of Q2 2022.


  • Ford Customer Service: 1-866-436-7332
  • FoMoCo Recall Number: 22S27
  • 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. crabbymilton

    If this wasn’t so potentially dangerous, it would be funny. A vision of Wally and Eddie playing a joke on Lumpy putting a chain on his axle and having it pulled off the car when Lumpy drove away. This means you’ll see more cop cars parked at the FORD dealer waiting for more recall work. So what’s one more huh?

  2. Explorer ST

    I’m curious as to why Ford switched to the 3 bolt subframe mid 2021 MY (from previous 4 bolt subframe used in 2020& early 2021 MY). Cost savings or use of a part that was in stock to keep up with demand?

    1. evan

      it seemed to be a supply issue of the 2 bolt subframes, from the fourms it seems random build dates got the 1 bolt subframe throughout 2021. Seems like they used the 2.3 subframes in place of the 3.0-3.3 subframes when they were out of them and it caught up to them.

      1. Crabbymilton

        You would think that they would have designed it to accept all available engines regardless of subframe.
        Standardization must make too much sense.

  3. whypac

    Intentional under engineering to cut costs.

    1. TobyCW

      Intentional, but intentional substitution with inadequate parts. The 3.0L were engineered with the proper subframe with 2 rear differential mounts (instead of one).

  4. 3puttforever

    I’m one of those that got the one bolt 2.3L. Bummer.

    Ford engineer: “we’ll just use one bolt – nobody will know. Besides, it’s a really big bolt.”

  5. Bob Hommel

    Sad turn of events. Quality requires a constant focus. It is probably the most important factor that can turn off sales and customer satisfaction. I have been waiting 3 months for a vehicle ordered but not yet built.

    1. 3puttforever

      Hopefully, they will have added the extra bolt back prior to your build!

    2. Danielle

      Expect to wait longer. We ordered back in November and it the order tracking status has been sitting as “built” since February 2 with no ETA in sight. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe the sentiment.

  6. sj0502

    We are notified of a Recall and then we have to wait on further communication regarding the Recall, which will not be sent out until the end of the Q2. In the meantime, we have 2 long road trips planned in the meantime. What it the bolt fracture takes place while traveling? Why not allow me to have my vehicle fixed prior to leaving, if there is a known recall?

  7. Cajun Heat

    There has been a lot of chatter about a ECU update from for instead of replacing the deficient part. There was a letter from Ford posted on a forum that I subscribe to that specifically states ECU update.

  8. james b wiseman

    What ever happened to Fords ” Quality First ” slogan ? Seems that`s been forgotten !

  9. Crabbymilton

    It’s now: At FORD stupidly is job one.

  10. DisappointednAZ

    Bought an explorer yesterday and dealer wouldn’t let it leave the lot because of this recall. Is that illegal since they didn’t notify me before a purchased this recalled SUV? They hand idea when it’s going to be fixed and heard it’s a software issue now and not a bolt replacement which seems ludicrous. Someone advise thoughts. Thx – I’m in Arizona.

    1. JKM

      Same thing happened to us on 5/28/22. I’m talking to a lawyer tomorrow.

    2. Kym Stevens

      I almost had the same thing happen to me. I was going to trade in My 2020 Ford Explorer for a 2022 Ford Explorer. Everything was worked out.. i was ready to have them write it up… My salesman comes back and tells me there’s a problem, “we can sell the car to you, but we can’t deliver it to you?” Short story.. you know it’s due to this RECALL!
      I’m sorry to hear that you had a Salesman that was not honest with you. I was at My Ford dealership on May 16, 2022. My Explorer that I was trading in is on the recall list and I traded my Explorer in, because they don’t know when they will have a fix on this recall. There have been No Accidents so far, I’d rather be safe. I’m a traveler. Just my opinion.

  11. Earl George

    Purchased a 2022 Ford Explorer on January 31. Arrived at dealer April 19. Got a call to come up next day to pay and pick it up. Went in paid cash and then, BOOM, you can’t take it with you there is a no delivery recall on it. Which Ford has known about since 2020 but said not a word when I decided to buy. The big problem is I have my present vehicle sold so I am in a fix.

    1. Eric

      That’s a joke. 1000s of people driving them with th his recall. Just remember to put your emergency brake on when you park it. Easy

      Most of these are squad cars

  12. David

    Does anyone know for SURE if the software update is related to making the parking brake come on each time the car is turned off or is it to soften the torque of the 3.0 engine. Thanks in advance.

    1. Don

      I got mine this week and it does apply the parking brake when the engine is turned off. You have to tap the gas to release it when you drive. Just be careful not to tap it to hard.

    2. KAS

      Yes, parking brake goes on every time car is in park. The gas peddle needs to be applied to turn off parking brake. Wish I never had the “fix” done. Yes its safety federal mandate… is not the same driving experience that I had before this “fix”.

  13. M. VINO

    My wife has a 2020 Explorer ST AWD production Aug 2020 and 4 bolts holding rear diff and I have a 2021 Explorer ST AWD production Jun 2021 and it has the 3 bolts holding the rear differential to the rear subframe (module). My 2021 has the recall and her 2020 doesn’t however she is getting the 2 cats replaced due to cracked welds.

  14. Lloyd

    How is software a fix to a broken part? Will my wife get stranded when it eventually breaks? Will the software also disengage the break?

  15. Kama Blasingame

    According to this piece, “The fix: dealers will replace the defective rear axle mounting bolts with new parts, free of charge.” But that’s not what happened when I took my Explorer in a few weeks ago. They said that they had to reprogram the computer to apply the parking brake when put in “Park”. I don’t see the connection. Why don’t they do as this piece says they will and replace the parts in question? I just called the dealership to follow up and was told that no further bulletins have been released on the issue; however, one is expected at the end of the third quarter (next week) and I should call again then. The whole parking brake thing is a band-aid not a fix. Do better Ford. Your customers deserve it.

    1. melanie aldridge

      Thanks for sharing that there may be a better fix. Very annoying to have to release parking break every time. Also is anyone else noticed a clicking sound each time the brake pedal is depressed??? Just started after the recall “fix”.

  16. Walker King

    I got notice about a recall on my 2021 Ford Explorer. I tried to call today to check on the matter with Priority Ford in Norfolk, Va. I first tried the operator but got no answer. I figured that it might have something to do with the Service Department, so I called there. Finally, a young lady answered. I told her about my inquiry. She seemed to have no clue, but finally found my file, and finally, apparently found information about the recall. She told me that the parts should be in soon, and I could call back later. Not satisfied, I called back, finally got the operator and told her the situation. She was going to transfer me back to the service department, but I told her that I wanted to talk to a service manager who might be more up to date with the recall. I was transferred, but after a long wait, finally gave up and hung up. I’m wondering what I should do about getting this recall taken care of?


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