Seatback Strength at Centre of New Ford Recall

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
seatback strength at centre of new ford recall

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator, a much-championed midsize crossover only just entering dealerships, has earned the second recall of its very short life. The crossover, along with the current- and previous-generation Explorer, the Ford Expedition, F-150, and Super Duty line are nameplates involved in a recall concerned with seatback strength.

According to Ford, vehicles may have left the factory “missing the third pawl required for seatback strength,” meaning that seatback may not stay in place in the event of a crash. The recall covers more than half a million vehicles sold in North America.

The recall divides vehicles potentially equipped with weak front-seat seatbacks from those with a problem in the rear. Models with a front-seat problem include the 2018-19 Explorer, 2019-20 Expedition, 2018-20 F-150, and 2019-20 Super Duty models, but only those equipped with manual seatback recliner mechanisms. The 2020 Explorer and Aviator are being called back for their rear outboard seats.

Again, only those with manual reclining mechanisms.

“A seatback with an improperly assembled recliner mechanism may have reduced strength and may not adequately restrain an occupant in a crash, increasing the risk of injury,” the automaker stated.

Some 483,325 U.S. vehicles fall under the recall, with a further 58,712 located in Canada. Mexico’s share is 8,149 vehicles. As some of these models are just appearing on dealer lots (or are on their way there), dealers will inspect their inventory before making any sales.

“Most vehicles are expected to pass the inspection and not require repair,” Ford claims. “If a repair is required, the dealer will replace the seat structure. There will be no charge to the customer for these services.”

The Aviator is a very new addition to Lincoln’s utility vehicle lineup ( shows just 920 vehicles currently available in the U.S.) but this isn’t its first recall. On August 5th, Ford placed a demonstration and delivery hold on the model after discovering some vehicles may have left the factory while still in “Factory Mode” — a setting that disables warning alerts and doesn’t show the selected transmission gear in the gauge cluster. It was also determined that the manual park release (MPR) cover could be missing.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Akear Akear on Aug 31, 2019

    Ford and GM seem more interested in profitability than either quality or market share. We all know Wall Street is calling the shots.

  • RedRocket RedRocket on Sep 03, 2019

    This story isn't about Honda, it's about Ford. And this is exactly what I have come to expect from that company. Lincoln revival? Not likely. But the press junkets must be really good given the reception their latest vehicles all seem to get from the automotive media.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird The hideaway headlamps on these and other Ford vehicles of the era could have issues mostly vacuum related. Usually the vacuum hoses that ran to the actuators would deteriorate. The “coffee can” reservoir which was mounted in the front header was rarely an issue because it was protected from the elements. The other coffee can reservoir used for the HVAC controls and actuators and mounted under the passenger side wheel well had a tendency to rot away. I once replaced one on my 70 Mustang when I noticed that the vents were acting janky. Later model Fords like Fox bodies used a durable plastic globe shaped one. The radio on these 69-70 full-size Fords mounted on the left side of aircraft style instrument cluster within the drivers touch probably disappointed many young people. “Mom will you change the station?” “Andy Williams is so square”.
  • MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
  • Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
  • DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
  • Garrett Instead of foisting this problem on the car companies and the people who buy cars, make those who possess liquor licenses and those who purchase alcohol take on the economic cost of this problem.