Ford Authority

Another Ford Explorer Subframe Class Action Lawsuit Filed

Just a few weeks ago, a class action lawsuit was filed regarding subframe issues present in the current generation Ford Explorer, alleging that the rear axle mounting bolt could fracture when the vehicle is accelerating. It seems this issue is far from being resolved, as yet another lawsuit has been filed in regard to the same problem, according to Car Complaints.

The latest lawsuit alleges that 2020 model year and newer Ford Explorer crossovers have issues with the rear subframe due to only one rear axle horizontal mounting bolt being installed to connect the components. The use of a single mounting bolt can potentially cause the driveshaft to separate while driving, causing the vehicle to lose steering, braking and speed control, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

This lawsuit was filed by George Coolidge and John Wiggins. The former, a resident of Washington state, owns a 2021 Ford Explorer XLT, while the latter lives in Colorado and owns an Explorer ST. Neither plaintiff has alleged that their particular Explorer has presented with the aforementioned issue; however, they filed the $5 million lawsuit due to concerns about their vehicles due to the alleged subframe issues.

The lawsuit states, “Despite the redesign, the Rear Subframe Assembly that is actually installed in each Class Vehicle is not the newly designed assembly, but is the prior designed assembly Ford needed to redesign to accommodate higher horsepower and torque rated Explorer ST vehicles – the one that is defective.”

Ford has allegedly not yet provided support because of the single axle bolt design, and the plaintiffs argue that the automaker intentionally used a weaker rear subframe assembly with a singular bolt for “regular” Explorers, rather than the four-bolt design implemented in the Explorer ST.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is aware of the issue, and has launched an investigation of its own. Ford has issued a recall in response to the problem, which involves a software update to automatically activate the parking brake if the vehicle were to roll away. However, this allegedly does not address the axle bolt and subframe issues directly.

We’ll have more on the Explorer soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. Shockandawe

    What Furd moron decided one bolt would hold entire rear suspension? Farley said 1 bolt is cheaper then 4.

  2. Ryan

    Looks like Ford forgot about the Pinto mess.

  3. Fras

    I had a 22 Explorer st and traded it just last week. With this issue ford simply detuned the car(noticeably less throttle response) and now whenever you park the vehicle it automatically sets the parking brake. Very annoying because every time you have to manually disengage it. Also quality of the vehicle is really bad for a $60k vehicle.

  4. Sue Romans

    I have a 2020 Ford Explorer with shifting jerking,slow shifting or pausing and rpms goes high in all gears
    In other words I’m tired of the headaches and neck pain

    1. StaciM

      Hi Sue,

      I’ve had severe issues with my 2020 explorer transmission. I’m currently without a car that I’m still paying for and a dealership that refuses to bring the car back. Ford Motor has denied my buyback claim due to me purchasing my car in another state. I’m considering a class action lawsuit, contact me in you’re interested in joining.

  5. Deadarmadillo

    Neither of these guys have had problems but are suing why? Too many lawyers and not enough work for them. Of course the all knowing trolls jump on and declare that Ford should have known that one bolt wasn’t sufficient. The engineers should have been able to easily spec the correct mounting system for this vehicle. No?

  6. StaciM

    Considering a Class Action lawsuit if enough people would like to join. My 2020 Ford Explorer is a total lemon. The dealership is now refusing to fix it and Ford Motor refuses to buy it back. I’m now without a car and still paying monthly.


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