Ford is recalling the all-new Explorer and 2020 Lincoln Aviator for missing a manual park release cover and possibly still having an instrument cluster that’s stuck in factory mode.
It’s always a bad look to recall a brand new 2020 model year vehicle so soon after release, but Ford has made a few errors that they just can’t ignore mostly due to federal regulations. Even though the issues themselves seem relatively minor and can probably even be fixed by the end-users, federal law requires that the Blue Oval get these SUVs back home to roost for a little while before sending them back into the wild.
There are two issues requiring certain 2020 Ford Explorers and 2020 Lincoln Aviators come back to a Ford dealership. The first is for a potentially missing manual park release cover. According to the rules, a manual park release cover must be in place and be only removable via tool.
“If the cover is not installed, the manual park release lever may be inadvertently activated, which could result in unintended vehicle movement if the electronic park brake is not applied, increasing the risk of crash," according to Ford’s press release.
Issue two is for an instrument cluster that might still be in factory mode even after it left the factory. Factory mode eliminates the various warning chimes and alerts that might pop up and also limits the information displayed on the information cluster. One of the more important things that the cluster won’t display while in factory mode is what PRNDL gear the car is in, making it sort of difficult to drive.
Factory mode helps keep the vehicle’s battery from draining during production and ensures that factory workers don’t have to endure a billion chimes and alerts all day long. Even though the Aviator has a full orchestra for its warning sounds, we bet it still gets old fast if you’re forced to listen to it for 8 hours a day.
Also, federal law requires that the driver be able to see what gear the car is in at all times, so it’s got to be fixed. Ford is aware of one accident that occurred while an SUV was in transit resulting in vehicular damage.
In the United States, 13,896 vehicles need to head back to the dealer, while 239 are expected to return in Canada. Dealers will install a manual park release cover if it was never there and also flip the instrument cluster out of factory mode.
Most of the affected vehicles are still sitting in dealer lots and it’s pretty hard not to notice the fact you can’t see what gear your car is in. Nevertheless, Ford will reach out to individual owners that managed to drive one of these SUVs of the lot to get them in for a fix.