Back in February, The Blue Oval issued a recall for select 2020-2022 Ford Explorer crossovers over a vehicle rollaway risk caused by an unintentional powertrain control module (PCM) reset. That was followed by yet another recall for the same model in April, this time over a rear axle mounting bolt that may fracture during acceleration. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is taking a closer look into FoMoCo’s proposed solutions for these problems after opening an official probe into the matter, according to Reuters.
Initially, Ford stated that this particular issue – attributed to a faulty rear axle horizontal mounting bolt that could fracture and cause the driveshaft to disconnect and result in the vehicle rolling away – could be fixed by applying a software update that automatically applies the electronic parking brake to prevent rollaways.
However, the NHTSA noted that there is currently no fix for the faulty rear axle horizontal mounting bolt, “which is the basis of this safety issue and the cause of the impaired vehicle,” according to the agency. The NHTSA noted that it has thus far received two complaints from Ford Explorer owners who claim their crossovers have received the prescribed recall remedy, yet still suffered a loss of power after the fact.
“The vehicle would randomly slam to a complete stop while driving,” one of the complaints reads. “It happened several times with three different drivers (myself, my wife, and my son), each happening at 30-35 mph or less.” These recalls are said to impact around 710,000 Explorer SUVs from the 2020-2022 model years, though thus far, the automaker has stated that it is unaware of any accidents or injuries that have occurred as a result of this issue.