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2020-2022 Ford Explorer Rear Axle Bolt Investigation Closed

In recent weeks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been busy closing quite a few Blue Oval-related investigations into potential issues, a list that includes 2017-2020 Ford Super Duty trucks with tailgates that were opening unintentionally, power steering woes related to the 2010 Ford Fusion, 2020-2021 Ford Escape crossovers with failing door latches, and 2011-2019 Ford Explorer models with detaching trim pieces. Now, the NHTSA has closed yet another investigation – this time, one pertaining to 2020-2022 Ford Explorer crossovers with problematic rear axle bolts.

Back in April 2022, The Blue Oval recalled select 2020-2022 Ford Explorer models after it discovered that the rear axle mounting bolt may fracture when the vehicle is accelerating, which can lead to severe noise and vibration, or worse – disconnected driveshafts and the potential for the vehicle to roll away when in park. However, some owners filed a lawsuit against the automaker last June, claiming that its proposed fix – replacing those bolts with new parts – was inadequate.

Then, last October, Ford issued another recall instructing dealers to replace the subframe bushing and rear axle bolt in affected vehicles, which – coupled with a customer service program – has prompted the NHTSA to close its investigation, which was opened by the Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) last July after the agency received three complaints from owners of affected vehicles. The NHTSA concluded that Ford’s actions aimed at correcting this matter are adequate, citing the automaker’s assertion that its repairs have resulted in “lower current and projected failure rates.”

“In view of the recall action being taken by Ford, ODI is closing this RQ. NHTSA will continue to monitor complaints from the customer satisfaction program vehicles and reopen this issue, if necessary. The agency reserves the right to take additional action if warranted by future circumstances.”

We’ll have more on all of Ford’s recalls and NHTSA investigations soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and 24/7 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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