The mounting bolt of the rear axle can break off during acceleration
This can cause a loss of power as well as letting parked vehicles roll away
Ford has received 235 warranty claims about this problem Since December of 2019
A defective design could cause the horizontal mounting bolt, which holds the rear axle, to break off during acceleration, which apparently leads to a loud grinding noise according to drivers who have experienced this failure.
More importantly however, this problem can lead to the rear driveshaft disconnecting from the transmission, which causes a sudden loss of power that could provoke an accident. In addition, a disconnected driveshaft can allow the vehicle to roll away when the transmission is in park.
Indeed, the parking pawl that is activated when the driver selects the Park position on the transmission acts on the transmission itself, not on the wheels. This means that if the link between the transmission and the wheels is removed, there is nothing stopping the vehicle from moving on its own.
This appears to be the main reason for which the recall was necessary, as vehicles moving inadvertently can result in serious injuries to pedestrians around the defective SUV.
According to the automaker, the affected vehicles are the Explorer, the Explorer Hybrid and the plug-in hybrid version of the same model, all built for the 2020 to 2022 model years. The police versions of these models are also subject to the recall, but only for the 2020 and 2021 model years.
Ford has known about this problem for a while since 235 warranty claims have been filed about the bolt in question since December of 2019.
Owners of the recalled vehicles will begin to be notified by mail on June 6th and will then be able to have their dealer either replace the bushing and axle cover or update the electronic parking brake module, depending on the model.