A long-standing issue with late-model Ford Motor Company SUVs is coming to a head. Ford is now issuing a massive recall of over 660,000 Explorer sport utility vehicles. The recall covers the SUVs sold by dealers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

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The problem surrounds loose roof rail covers. A problem with retention pins is blamed for causing some to detach from the roof. Ford says the recall is being ordered after an official request from U.S. auto industry regulators.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the review of the issue officially began over a year ago.  But some owners were reporting the problem on a Ford owner’s forum back in 2017.
The recall covers models produced from 2016 through 2019. Later models are not involved.  Dealers will be ready to install replacement retention pins and also replace any rail clips or covers that may be damaged.

The government posted some related documentation about the problem on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website last Wednesday.  It spells out the timeline of what the government has been doing with Ford to review the issue leading to the recall notice.  Ford issued a notice of the recall early this morning.

The government first got involved with communication with Ford on the issue early last year. The NHTSA’s recall request was made official last month. Ford had initially responded to the issue saying a recall wasn’t needed. Last fall, Ford announced it would extend the warranty on that specific issue for a period of ten years, or up to 150,000 vehicle miles.  So far, Ford is not reporting any cases of crashes or injuries stemming from the issue. Ford plans to begin sending out official recall notices to owners near the end of next month.

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