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Ford Recalls 350K Explorers After 13 Crashes, 6 Injuries

Ford has recalled 350,000 2013-2017 Ford Explorers for issues with the rear suspension. The automaker has found that a rear suspension member will corrode, increasing the chance of poor handling and crashes.
Posted: November 10, 2020 - 12:31AM
Author: Marc Stern


When Torque News reports recalls on Ford light trucks – vehicles like the Explorer are light trucks, though they are called SUVs – it is pretty straightforward and doesn't involve significant crashes or injuries.

Ford Recall Lists Injuries, Crashes

However, there are times when a problem with a light truck involves more than just replacing a suspension piece or a manifold part. Instead, it involves multiple vehicles and crashes that involve injury. Indeed, these crashes may involve parts of SUVs that have broken, sometimes hurling them into those crashes that involve the injury.

In light of that, Ford has announced the recall of 350,000 2013-2017 Explorers for issues with the rear suspension.

The problem affects Explorers that garaged or registered in areas where corrosion is common, usually the "Snow Belt," where vehicles must survive their bath of corrosive chemicals that are part of the winter regimen. These chemicals have their way of working themselves into SUVs' suspensions or frames where the corrosion begins to weaken the vehicle.

It's not a short-lived exposure to these chemicals. Vehicles live with them on the roads, where they splash up embedding themselves in the platform.

Ford Recall Is Longer Term

It often begins as early as late October and continues well into April. SUVs like the Explorer must fend for themselves in the face of this yearly onslaught of corrosive chemicals. The toxic mix of corrosives eats away at the metal parts of vehicles.

The image above shows damage that is similar to that when one of the vehicles recalled has a rear suspension member failure.

This is the issue facing Ford Explorers involved in the recall. This recall has resulted in 13 crashes and a total of six reports of injury.

As noted, the vehicles are garaged or registered in those areas of the country and Canada, where corrosive road baths are common. Typically, the corrosive chemicals keep roads de-iced beginning as early as late October until early spring.

The vehicles involved in Ford's recall have experienced fractures of the outboard section of the rear suspension toe link. The failure has resulted in reports of 13 crashes with six stories of injuries related to this condition. The condition results in diminished steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Ford Recall Covers 5 Years

Ford built the vehicles involved in this recall at the Chicago Assembly Plant from Sept. 4, 2012, to Jan. 25, 2017. Dealers will complete a torque inspection of the cross-axis ball joint and replace it if necessary. The repair is free.

For more information, contact the Ford Motor Co., asking about recall 20S62.

Marc Stern
has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories can be found at Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.