2020 Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator experience delays, automaker says all is well

A new report paints a picture of quality woes, but Ford says everything is normal.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Lincoln Aviator
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2020 Lincoln Aviator

Better fixed than defective for buyers.


Eager buyers looking for the 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator at dealerships may find stock fairly limited as routes the SUVs for additional quality inspections.

The news stems from a Detroit Free Press report that cites multiple unnamed sources claiming Ford has been unable to adequately fix a number of issues with both SUVs. The two SUVs have since been shipped from the Chicago assembly plant to Ford's Flat Rock plant in Michigan. The sources added temporary tents now house repair parts for a variety of issues.

Roadshow spoke with a Ford manufacturing representative who called the process anything but unusual.

"All of our new Ford Explorers and Aviators undergo additional inspections to ensure they are built with the top quality our customers expect, which is part of our quality process," the representative said. She added the Chicago assembly plant's location makes it difficult to park thousands of SUVs and perform additional quality checks.

The Free Press cited an unnamed source that named a few of the problems the SUVs reportedly face. They allegedly include chassis and transmissions issues in the Explorer, air conditioners that only blow hot air in both the Explorer and Aviator, and suspension issues with the Aviator.

Ford did not speak to the alleged issues named in the report but underscored that before these SUVs go to dealers, the automaker is "making sure they're built with quality."

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid
Emme Hall/Roadshow

Ford told Roadshow the quality inspection process is ongoing, with Explorers and Aviators shipped from Chicago to Flat Rock. There, the representative said the SUVs have access to the right people for another quality check. She highlighted the fact these workers are performing the inspections when they're not building the Mustang or . There has been no disruption to Mustang or Continental production, she added.

The automaker has previously carried out similar procedures for the Fusion, , , Edge and models.

Last month, Ford issued two recalls that also involved the new SUVs. The first surrounds a missing park release cover, while the second was for missing seat restraints. The original report said workers are working 12-hour shifts and seven days a week to ensure the SUVs undergo the proper repairs and quality checks, which Ford also confirmed.

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