Ford Explorer Recalled for Rollaway Risk

Only certain models are included in the recall, including the hybrid and ST

Ford Explorer Hybrid Photo: Ford

Ford is recalling nearly 253,000 Explorer SUVs from the 2020-2022 model years including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and ST versions, rear-wheel-drive models with a 2.3-liter engine, as well as models built specifically for police use.

Due to a faulty design, an important part of the drivetrain could break and cause the vehicle to roll away even if the shifter is in Park. Ford says that drivers may notice a loud “grinding, binding, or clunking” noise if the drivetrain fails.

Ford will provide different repairs for the vehicles. Police vehicles will get parts of the driveshaft replaced with upgraded versions, free of charge, while the other vehicles will get a software update that will engage the parking brake automatically if the vehicle is put into Park.

According to documents that Ford provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there have been 235 warranty claims related to this problem, but no crashes or injuries.

The Details

Vehicles Recalled 
• 2020-2021 Ford Explorer Police Hybrid and gas-only SUVs
• 2020-2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid SUVs
• 2020-2022 Ford Explorer SUVs with rear-wheel drive and a 2.3-liter engine
• 2020-2022 Ford Explorer ST SUVs

The problem: Due to stress on the vehicle’s drivetrain after numerous “peak torque” events (usually under heavy acceleration), the rear axle horizontal mounting bolt may fracture, leading the axle housing to move out of position and the driveshaft or half shaft to disconnect. If this happens, the transmission could no longer hold the vehicle in Park, and the SUV could roll away.

The fix: On non-police versions, Ford dealers will update the vehicle software so that the electronic parking brake automatically engages when the shifter is in Park to prevent a rollaway if the failure occurs. Police vehicles will have their bushing and axle covers replaced.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332. The company will begin to notify owners by mail starting June 6, 2022.

NHTSA campaign number: 22V255. Ford’s own number for this recall is 22S27.

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 one. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly.

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Head shot photo of CRO Cars CIA editor Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Despite my love for quirky, old European sedans like the Renault Medallion, it's my passion to help others find a safe, reliable car that still puts a smile on their face—even if they're stuck in traffic. When I'm not behind the wheel or the keyboard, you can find me exploring a new city on foot or planning my next trip.