The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – in coordination with Ford – has issued a recall involving 1,194,173 Ford Explorers from model years 2011 through 2017.

We do not typically write about recalls.  However, this one is of sufficient concern – with thousands of Explorer owners in Texas and adjoining states – that we felt compelled to let our readers and listeners know.

The recall is due to possible failure of rear suspension toe links that may cause a sudden change in vehicle handling that could lead to a crash.

Your Explorer may or may not actually have a fractured rear suspension toe link.  Ford says that vehicles exposed to frequent and/or severe rear suspension articulation (heavy duty bouncing up and down) are most likely affected.  A fracture of the toe link could seriously impact steering control without any warning.

It should be noted that older Explorers – having passed through several owners – may have experienced those severe conditions unknown to a current owner.  On that basis, all owners should check with Ford for repair or replacement.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited

Ford says that there have been a small number of fractures reported, with no injuries recorded, due to such failures.

Ford will notify owners and dealers will replace the rear suspension toe links at no charge.

However, many of these vehicles have been sold and resold several times with ownership records not available to Ford for notification.  Given that, owners of older years can call Ford directly at 1-866-436-7332 to confirm their Explorer is subject to the recall and connect them with a dealer to make the repair.  The Ford recall number is 19S17.

Owners may also contact NHTSA Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and refer to NHTSA Campaign Number 19V-435.

For more information on the NHTSA process click here:  https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

Learn more about the NHTSA by clicking here: https://www.safercar.gov/