The 2020 Ford Explorer, Ford Escape and 2019 F-Series Super Duty models are the subjects of three recalls the automaker issued on Wednesday. Each involves a separate issue, while the 2020 Escape was added to a prior recall notice.
To start, the 2020 Explorer has been recalled for improperly secured wiring harnesses. Models fitted with either the 2.3-liter turbo-four or 3.3-liter V6 engines are the specific subjects. Should the SUV house one of the bad wiring harnesses, it may rub against the air conditioner pulley. This may damage the wiring harness or the air conditioner drive belt. In a worst-case scenario, contact from rubbing against the pulley could expose the wiring harness to an unfused circuit and cause a short circuit or fire.
Total, this recall affects 10,635 Explorers and Ford said the majority of them remain at dealerships. Before they're sold, dealers will fix the problem by securing the wiring harness and repairing any damage, if there is any. This recall (and a couple others) follows reports of quality concerns out of Ford's Chicago assembly plant that builds the Explorer and its platform mate, the Lincoln Aviator. Ford denied anything out of the ordinary and said it's business as usual.
As for the 2020 Ford Escape, it's been added to a previous recall that includes a number of Ford models. Issued on Aug. 30, the recall dealt with missing components to reinforce a seatback's strength. With an improperly assembled recliner, the seat may not restrain a passenger well enough in the event of a crash. Originally, this recall affected the F-150, F-Series Super Duty, previous-generation Explorer, the new 2020 Explorer, Expedition and Lincoln Aviator.
Ford said 9,350 Escape models are now part of the same recall campaign. Like the Explorer, most of the problem SUVs remain at dealers, and they'll be repaired before sale. If they house a faulty seatback assembly, a technician will replace the seat structure.
The final vehicle named in the three recalls announced is the 2019 F-Series Super Duty. In affected trucks, the passenger-side axle shaft was possibly manufactured with steel that's not up to par for Ford. The lower-grade steel could fracture and it could lead to loss of power in two-wheel drive mode and the inability to keep the truck in Park. The trucks may roll away without the parking brake applied.
A total of 28,549 heavy-duty pickups are part of the recall and owners will need to take their trucks to a dealer for inspection. Any truck part of the suspect batch of poor steel will have replacement side axle shafts installed at no charge. Ford advised all owners to use the parking brake for the time being to keep the truck from potentially rolling away.