About 248,000 Ford Explorers recalled because the rear axle bolts may break.

Posted in Recalls

Ford Explorer Axle Bolt Recall Issued a Third Time
About 248,000 Ford Explorers recalled because the rear axle bolts may break.

— A Ford Explorer axle bolt recall has been announced for nearly 248,000 vehicles, a recall which follows two previous Explorer rear axle bolt recalls and a federal investigation.

This latest recall involves 2020-2022 Ford Explorer vehicles with rear axle horizontal mounting bolts that may fracture and cause the driveshafts to disconnect.

Two Ford Explorer axle bolts were issued, one recall in April 2022 and another in March 2023. The recalls involved 2020-2022 Explorers built from October 2, 2019, to April 11, 2022.

"Affected vehicles were built with a 3-point mounted axle design. On some units the rear axle horizontal mounting bolt may fracture. Powertrain torque through the driveline causes axle rotation of the pinion angled towards the subframe, which exerts a bending force on the rear axle bolt." — Ford

The axle bolt is more likely to break after numerous "peak torque events" such as when taking off from a stop. Once the rear axle bolt fractures, the axle housing will move out of position.

Customers and dealer technicians describe hearing loud, grinding, binding or clunking noises.

A busted axle bolt will also allow the Explorer to roll while in PARK.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into Ford Explorer fractured rear axle bolts after receiving complaints from Explorer owners who said the bolts broke. And those vehicles had been repaired during the previous recalls.

More than 9,300 of the Explorers are recalled in Canada.

Ford Explorer axle bolt recall letters will be mailed November 6, 2023, and dealers will replace the subframe bushings and rear axle bolts.

Dealerships will also inspect the rear axle covers for damage near the bolt hole location and replace them with new covers if any damage is found.

Ford has agreed to reimburse owners who paid their own money for repairs.

Ford Explorer owners may contact Ford at 866-436-7332. Ford's axle bolt recall number is 23S55.


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