Ford Explorer Recalled Due to Suspension Problems

Rear suspension pieces may fracture on 2013 to 2017 models

2016 Ford Explorer Photo: Ford

Ford Motor Co. is recalling about 675,000 Ford Explorers from the 2013 to 2017 model years because of concerns that the rear suspension could fracture, potentially resulting in a crash. 

This scenario could be triggered by a cross-axis ball joint that seizes, causing a rear suspension link to crack. A fracture in the rear toe link would diminish steering, creating a hazard. Ford says drivers who experience the problem may notice a clunk noise, unusual handling, or a misaligned rear wheel.

The vehicles at greatest risk are located in high-corrosion states or in regions with a combination of cold winter weather with relative high humidity and substantial road salt use.

Ford is aware of six reports of injury related to this condition in North America.

Owner notifications will begin in late August 2021. 

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 676,152 Ford Explorer SUVs from the 2013 to 2017 model years built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant between Sept. 4, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2017.

The problem: A rear suspension component may fracture, affecting handling and steering.

The fix: Dealers will inspect the cross-axis ball joint, replace the cross-axis ball joint/knuckle as necessary, and replace the toe links with a revised design part.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Ford customer service at 800-392-3673.

NHTSA campaign number: 21V537000. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S32.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member.


Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).