Ford recalls 14,000 Explorers and Aviators

Sport utility vehicles may be suffering from a couple unconnected issues

Published: August 7, 2019, 9:30 AM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:53 PM

2020 Ford Explorer

Ford is recalling about 14,000 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicles to deal with a couple issues pertaining to the transmission shift override and instrument cluster shutdown.

Vehicles with automatic transmissions are required to have the driver depress the brake pedal in order to allow the transmission to shift into and out of park, but they also have a manual park release as a backup in case the parking brake knockout does not work. The manual park release is concealed by a cover that requires a tool to remove it.

On some of the recalled vehicles, the cover for the manual park release may be missing, which means the manual park release could be activated allowing the transmission to shift freely out of park and likely result in unintended vehicle movement (if the emergency/parking brake is not engaged).

Further, these vehicles may also have the instrument clusters in factory mode, which disables driver warning lights and even the shift position of the automatic transmission displaying what gear the vehicle is currently in. The mode is meant only be engaged during the production process to prevent battery drain.

Ford is aware of one incident involving a vehicle during transport, resulting in vehicle damage but no injuries.

The recall affects 14,135 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles in North America, with 13,896 in the US and 239 in Canada, the majority of which are still in dealer inventories and will have the issues remedied before delivery to customers. Owners who have already taken possession of their vehicles are asked to return to dealerships to have the issues addressed.

Dealers will inspect for the manual park release cover and install one, if necessary, and will also take the instrument cluster out of factory mode and clear any diagnostic codes.