Ford is recalling almost 1.9 million Ford Explorers from the 2011 to 2019 model years because parts of the exterior trim can fly off in traffic.
Documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say clips that hold the panel to the windshield can come loose due to “improper installation or repair,” posing a danger to other drivers.
The trim is attached to the pillars next to the windows, Ford said in an email to The Washington Post. Customers with affected vehicles may see gaps around loose panels or hear rattling and/or excessive wind noise from the surrounding area, Ford said.
According to NHTSA, the manufacturer is not aware of any injuries or deaths related to the problem.
Problems were first reported in 2018, but the problem was initially deemed too low-risk to warrant a recall because the trim pieces were relatively small, and Ford completed an investigation into the problem in 2021. But last year a new investigation was launched in the US. Canadian regulators also inquired about the issue, according to a timeline released by NHTSA.
According to NHTSA, as of Jan. 12, Ford was aware of more than 568 complaints and 14,377 warranty reports related to loose trim parts.
About 5 percent of the recalled Explorers are actually affected by the equipment problem, Ford said.
Vehicle owners are advised to take their vehicle to a dealer where the affected parts will be replaced free of charge. The replacement parts are attached with additional glue so that they do not fly away. For more information, customers are encouraged to call Ford's toll-free number (1-866-436-7332) or contact a local Ford or Lincoln dealer.