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Ford Recalls 253,000 Explorers To Fix Drivetrain Rollaway Problem

Ford has recalled 253,000 Explorer SUVs to repair a problem with the drivetrain.


Ford has issued a recall of its 2020-2022 Explorer SUVs for a potential rollaway problem. The problem has to do with the design of its drivetrain. According to a report from Consumer Reports, via Yahoo News, the problem involves Explorer hybrids, plug-in hybrids, ST models, rear-wheel-drive models equipped with the 2.3-liter four, and models built for police use.

Key Piece Of Drivetrain May Break

CR notes the automaker has recalled nearly 253,000 Explorers to check a faulty drivetrain design. A vital part of the drivetrain may break in these Explorers, causing the vehicle to roll away, even if the shifter is in Park. The problem is stress on the vehicle's drivetrain after numerous "' peak torque'” events (usually under heavy acceleration as in police chases). The rear axle horizontal mounting bolt may fracture, leading the axle housing to move out of position and the driveshaft or half-shaft to disconnect. If this happens, the transmission could no longer hold the vehicle in Park, and the SUV could roll away.

If the drivetrain fails, owners can tell if there is a problem with their vehicles by noticing a loud “’grinding, binding, or clunking’” noise.

CR notes that not all repairs for this problem will be the same. Indeed, the automaker will have different repairs for different vehicles. For instance, police vehicles will get upgraded versions of the replaced driveshaft parts. Meanwhile, other vehicles will get a software update to ensure the parking brake automatically engages when the vehicle slides into Park. Ford will notify the owners of affected Explorers on June 6.

Ford Has Received 235 Warranty Claims Over Issue

There have been 235 warranty claims related to this problem, according to documents that Ford gave to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The automaker has not heard of any crashes or injuries arising from this problem to date.

Here’s a list of the vehicles that have been recalled, according to CR:

  • 2020-2021 Ford Explorer Police Hybrid and gas-only SUVs,
  • 2020-2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid SUVs
  • 2020-2022 Ford Explorer SUVs with rear-wheel-drive and 2.3-liter engines
  • 2020-2022 Ford Explorer ST SUVs

Consumer Information Listed

For more information, owners can contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332. The Ford identifier for this is 22S27. Or, owners can contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Or, they can go to the agency’s website at, where you can tell if any other open recalls need action. The NHTSA identification number is 22V255.

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.