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Ford Motor Company recently announced a recall of nearly 29,000 vehicles in the United States because of a defect that could cause the vehicles to move when in park. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledged the recall in a letter dated October 4, 2019. So far, Ford states it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this issue.

Ford Promises to Replace Defective Rear Axle Shafts

According to Ford, on affected vehicles, the “electronically locking rear-axle assembly may have a passenger-side axle shaft manufactured with steel that does not meet Ford’s specifications.” Because of the possible manufacturing defect, the rear axle shaft may fracture, which could result in a loss of power while driving in two-wheel drive, and the inability of the vehicle to hold the park function.

“If the parking brake is not applied,” Ford states, “this could result in unintended vehicle movement, increasing the risk of crash or injury.”

The affected vehicles were built at the Kentucky Truck Plant and the Ohio Assembly Plant between May 21 and July 26, 2019. In addition to the over 28,500 vehicles in the U.S., over 4,000 vehicles in Canada are also affected.

Ford plans to notify owners of the issue starting on October 21, 2019. As a remedy, dealers will inspect the potentially affected rear axle shaft, and replace it if necessary, free of charge. Owners can contact the company at 1-866-436-7332, or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to the NHTSA’s recall website.

Until owners can get their vehicles in for repairs, they are advised to always apply the parking brakes when the vehicles are parked to prevent any possible rollaways.

Ford Recalls More Vehicles for Potential Parking Gear Defects

This recall follows another recall  Ford announced on August 7, 2019. Affected vehicles could have a potentially missing manual park release cover. Without the cover, the manual park release lever could be inadvertently activated, which could result in unintended vehicle movement, increasing the risk of a crash.

In addition, the instrument cluster could have been left in factory mode, which disables warning alerts and chimes and doesn’t display the “PRNDL” gear positions and which gear is selected. Ford was aware of one report of an accident occurring during vehicle transport that resulted in vehicle damage.

This recall affected nearly 14,000 vehicles in the U.S. and over 200 in Canada. According to Ford, the recalled vehicles  were all built at the Chicago Assembly Plant, and included:

  • 2020 Ford Explorer vehicles built from March 27, 2019, to July 24, 2019
  • 2020 Lincoln Aviator vehicles built from April 10, 2019, to July 24, 2019

To remedy the problem, dealers will look for the manual park release cover and install one if necessary. They will also verify the instrument cluster is out of factory mode and clear any diagnostic codes.

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