The NHTSA is Investigating Certain Ford Explorers for Windshield Trim Detachment

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

the nhtsa is investigating certain ford explorers for windshield trim detachment

Major automakers deal with recalls all the time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) monitors complaints on safety and other issues and works with automakers to start the recall process if a defect is found. Ford has had plenty of recalls to deal with in the last few years, including one related to the Mustang Mach-E’s glass roof detaching. The automaker may be looking at another glass-related recall if the results of a recent NHTSA investigation reveal a safety problem.

The NHTSA has received 164 complaints related to the 2011 through 2019 Ford Explorer. Drivers report that the windshield trim panel can detach at highway speeds, with some people saying that flying trim pieces can hit other vehicles on the road. One reported a momentary loss of control, but no injuries or fatalities were reported.

This all sounds serious, but a recall is not guaranteed. The NHTSA investigation is a preliminary step in the process, through which the agency gathers information, complaints, and warranty information. If the agency finds a defect, it could send a letter to the automaker requesting a recall of the model. 

Ford has already issued several recalls for Explorer models built during those years. The 2014 Explorer, for example, has six recalls, all of which are related to the SUV’s suspension components and wheels. A recall issued in the summer of 2017 covers the Explorer’s hub unit bearing, which could allow the wheel to detach, and the most recent recall is for the rear suspension toe link, which can fracture and result in a loss of steering control. 

[Image: Ford]

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4 of 19 comments
  • Fred Fred on Feb 01, 2023

    Both my Audi and Acura had this problem. I just got some glue as recommended by the dealer. Who ever has to replace it next time will have some extra bit of work to do.

  • CoastieLenn CoastieLenn on Feb 01, 2023

    My wife has a 2017 Explorer (we love it) and this happened to it. The term "windshield trim" is a little misleading if not completely wrong. It's the piano black a-pillar cover. There's plastic clips- 4 IIRC, and a small amount of adhesive that hold it down. Ours came off and I spent $45 on an Amazon replacement.

    Not so ironically, it also happened on a 2018 Explorer rental we had. I also offered the Turo owner to replace it but he declined.

    • See 1 previous
    • CoastieLenn CoastieLenn on Feb 02, 2023

      Not your fault! The article is written plainly as "windshield trim". While it's adjacent to the windshield, it's not actually attached to or an integral part of the windshield.

  • Jalop1991 I expected a COMPLETELY different article.
  • Jalop1991 so, inserting using a public resource is more expensive that plugging into a home resource?Gee, who'd'a thunk it. Certainly not the Bunny Ranch, right?
  • Sgeffe The 1990-1991 Honda Accord in Hampshire Green Pearl.
  • Cprescott I'm sure the Kia/Hyundai haters will find something snide to say about the brands but this once again proves the high and mighty Honduh is not immune to issues. Take that and tailgate with it, Honduh drivers!
  • Bullnuke Chief Transition Officer, eh? And the term "Lean Manufacturing" being spoken... Is that the sound of the headsman's axe being ground sharp that I hear in the background? Brings back memories of the late '00s at my old OEM coatings plant.