Ford is recalling almost 1.9 million Ford Explorers from model years 2011 to 2019 because pieces of the external trim can fly off during traffic.
Recall documents made public by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state that clips holding trim down around the front windshield can become loose because of “improper assembly or repair,” creating a hazard for other drivers.
The trim is attached to the columns next to the windows, Ford said in an email to The Washington Post. Customers with affected vehicles may see gaps around loose trim, or hear a rattle and/or excessive wind noise from area, Ford said.
The manufacturer is not aware of any injuries or deaths associated with the problem, according to NHTSA.
Problems were first flagged in 2018, but the problem was initially deemed too low-risk to merit a recall as the trim parts were relatively small, and Ford closed an investigation into the issue in 2021. But a new U.S. investigation was opened last year, while Canadian regulators also inquired about the issue, according to a timeline made public by NHTSA.
As of Jan. 12, Ford was aware of more than 568 complaints and 14,377 warranty reports involving loose trim, according to NHTSA.
About 5 percent of the recalled Explorers are actually affected by the trim issue, Ford said.
Vehicle owners are being instructed to take their vehicle to a dealer where the affected parts will be replaced free. The replacements will be installed with additional adhesive so they don’t fly off. Customers are encouraged to call Ford’s toll-free number (1-866-436-7332) for additional information, or contact a local Ford or Lincoln dealer.