The wiper arm splines can wear out and cause the wipers to stop working or even to fly off while driving
The problem was made worse by the use of non-standard wiper motors due to the supply crisis
Ford has known about this issue since February of 2020
Ford is launching a recall for 600,000 units of some of its most popular models due to faulty wiper arms. This is the third recall issued by the automaker this month.
According to the documents announcing the recall, the wiper arms’ splines could wear out over time due to a manufacturing error that let parts that didn’t meet the correct specifications be installed on vehicles regardless.
If the splines are worn, the wipers can be slower than usual, they can work erratically, they can stop working and they can even fly off the car when driving at highway speeds.
To make this problem worse, the shortage of semi-conductors meant that Ford had to build some vehicles with wiper motors that differ from the original specification. This means that some vehicles have a motor that produces more torque and is thus able to strip the spindles more easily.
This is obviously a safety concern since the driver’s visibility can be severely impacted if the wipers stop working during a downpour.
This problem affects the F-Series pickups, the Expedition and the related Lincoln Navigator. Again, according to the recall documents, Ford has known about this problem for over two years and has compiled reports about 257 incidents involving inoperable or detached wipers since then.
Owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted by mail starting on May 23rd and will then be able to visit their local dealer to have the wiper arms replaced free of charge.