Ford Authority

2023 Ford Explorer Ditches Hands-Free Liftgate

As Ford Authority reported in early August, the 2023 Ford Explorer is essentially a carryover model with no major changes after the long-running crossover was redesigned for the 2020 model year and received a bevy of updates for 2022. However, with various supply chain issues posing problems for automotive production, sources familiar with the matter have now told Ford Authority that the 2023 Ford Explorer is ditching its hands-free liftgate feature.

For the 2022 model year, this particular feature was part of the Limited, ST, King Ranch, and Platinum trims, but a hands-free liftgate removal option was introduced during production, with the option becoming mandatory later in the 2022 production run. It is worth noting that this change does not impact the power liftgate, however, which is standard equipment on every 2023 Ford Explorer model.

This move – as has been the case with most – was made in response to supply constraints, which have prompted Ford to build and store around 40,000 trucks and SUVs at its various facilities until the parts needed to finish them arrive. The automaker expects to ship those so-called “vehicles on wheels” to dealers by the end of the year, but Ford CEO Jim Farley recently stated that he believes supply chain issues are “here to stay.”

As Ford Authority reported in June, 2023 Explorer order banks opened up back in August, while production is slated to begin at the Chicago Assembly plant on November 7th, 2022. But while the Explorer won’t receive any major changes for the new model year, far bigger things are on the horizon.

That includes the arrival of the all-electric Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, which were originally expected to launch in 2023 but have since been pushed back to late 2024. These two EVs will be produced at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada following its forthcoming retooling for EV production, and will reportedly be the only two vehicles built at that facility following its overhaul.

We’ll have more on the Explorer soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and ongoing 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. Al

    Supply chain issues are “here to stay.? Really? Not exactly what I expect to hear from the CEO of a major corporation. I would expect him to say that he’s putting his best people to work to figure out how to overcome the supply chain issues. Things like finding local suppliers, investing in in-house manufacturing, etc. The price of vehicles go up but the content goes down. Not a bright future for us consumers.

    1. Tim

      Your so right. Getting tired of this b.s.

      1. RWFA

        It’s “you’re” (as in the simple to learn contraction for “you are”) my friend.

    2. RWFA

      Recognizing the new normal is not the same as undertaking no countermeasures to minimize the downside of it.

      Maybe try to think deeper into the topic.

      1. al

        Here’s a deeper thought, Farley’s mission is to switch to a (mostly) build-to-order model. Fixing the supply chain issues would just flood dealer lots with lots of vehicles and erode their value. Great for Ford, bad for the consumer.

        1. SO

          I hate to tell. you but America is pretty much the only country that has tons of vehicles on the lot. All other countries are primarily built to order.

          1. Mrx19

            Agree that the build to order business model is fine but with a 6 to 8 week time frame, not 1 to 2 years, which is ridiculous.

    3. Jack Sims

      It is indeed a new day in America. Ford is no different than any other manufacturing business, with one exception: the number of parts that have to come together to make an automobile. And if you are this upset over cars you haven’t even bought, just wait til something happens and you have repairs you have to make to cars you have, but parts may not be available.

  2. REW

    My 88 year old Dad ordered his Pepper Red Maverick Lariat when he was 87 and hopes to get it before he turns 89 in April! Ford has become a joke under CEO Farcely!!! Anybody can dream up a fantasy and not deliver! Just ask Mark Loserberg at Meta! If Elon Musk took over both Companies he would snap sh!t and pronto … cleaned house at Twitter! Get with it Farcely!!! Jim the Shill Cramer can only carry your water so long CNBC … you’ve got to hold up your end of the bargain for investors or your stock at 50% will be the good old days!!! Even your brother would be laughing at you if he were still round … I mean around!!! He was a joke too, but that was his job and he delivered 😉

  3. David Delaney

    Does this mean the 2022 explorer ST I ordered and received in June 2022 without the liftgate hand free option won’t be coming as PROMISED this Fall?

  4. Halloween in January

    You musk fan boys are something else. You realize tesla has the worst customer service in the industry, right? And when’s that truck coming? But yeah, let’s just put him in charge of everything.

    1. RichG

      So true about Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter proves he’s no business savant.

      That Cybertruck? At this point, it’s a joke. Not surprised, considering its gross appearance.

  5. Pentameter

    Why is the Ford Explorer always at the top of the list of cars NOT to buy??

  6. MD

    If I paid for a Ford with my Ford stock, would they give me my cost price instead of what it is today? They should offer that sales incentive.

  7. Drew Ford Retiree

    Lame, lame, lame. The hands-free lift gate is just a simple software algorithm that gives orders to the power lift gate from the ultrasonic rear park sensors. That software had no material cost. Deleting it just reduces customer value. Dumb, dumb, dumb.


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