Ford Recalling Over 460,000 SUVs Due to Faulty Camera Systems
The Ford Motor Company is recalling a sizable number of late-model SUVs over faulty rear-view camera systems that may not display what’s behind the vehicle. While rear-facing automotive camera systems are already susceptible to being obscured by roadway grime and cannot offer the same field of view as the driver turning their head, they’re often helpful in seeing behind vehicles without much reward visibility and have been federally mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 2018.
NHTSA Says Ford Not to Blame for Police SUV Exhaust Leaks
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into 2011-2017 model year Ford Explorers after thousands of instances of police departments reporting an intrusion of exhaust gasses into the cabin. In some cases, the issue was so bad that officers alleged that they had been incapacitated while behind the wheel. However, the agency has finally wrapped up its probe, deciding that the manufacturer wasn’t at fault.
So then, what exactly did happen?
Abandoned History: Ford's Cruise-O-Matic and the C Family of Automatic Transmissions (Part VI)
2021 Ford Explorer Timberline Looks Reasonably Ruggedized
Ford is introducing a new trim level for the Explorer, targeting both outdoorsy types and those who desperately want to be but only manage to spend a couple of weekends at Kampgrounds of America.
The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline delivers a mix of visual accouterments and practical components that should actually make the SUV better off-road.
Don’t expect it to keep pace with a Raptor pickup, however. Despite the Timberline’s menacing new grille, skid plates, unique 18-inch wheels, and Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, it’s not a Baja buggy waiting to be jumped off the next sand dune — though it may be the best option for Explorer shoppers who don’t want to spend oodles on aftermarket parts.
2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST – More For Less
The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST has the same 3.0-liter, 400 horsepower EcoBoost engine, with 415 lb-ft of torque, just like the Explorer ST. What it also has is a lower starting price, $49,995.
Ford Camera Recall Encompasses 700,000 in North America
Ford is recalling over 700,0000 vehicles in North America over poor electrical connections that can put the rearview camera display on the fritz. The feed runs the risk of providing drivers a corrupted image or cutting out intermittently, raising crash risks, and violating present-day vehicle safety mandates. While the tried and true method of turning one’s head and using the mirrors should allow for drama-free parking, Ford is still under obligation to repair these systems.
Documents submitted to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) have indicated that affected models include Ford’s Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, Mustang, Ranger, and Transit vehicles from the 2020 model year. Lincoln will also be recalling the 2020 Lincoln Corsair and Nautilus.
Buy/Drive/Burn: American Family-hauling SUVs in 2005
At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Chevrolet announced the rebirth of the Trailblazer (note the spelling) for the 2021 model year. However, unlike its predecessor, it’s now a compact, three-cylinder CUV. The comments got a bit heated, pitting the GMT 360 version against its contemporary competition.
So let’s settle this. It’s time for a Buy/Drive/Burn in 2005.
Quality Issues Leads to Bumpy Takeoff for 2020 Ford Explorer
Sales figures are now rolling in from the Detroit Three automakers, with Ford now reporting third-quarter volumes. While Matthew Guy will have a roundup for you later today, we can share that Ford’s most recent sales quarter was not a stellar affair, made worse by the bungled launch of a high-profile model.
As we’ve told you already, a myriad of quality issues kept thousands of Chicago-built Explorers and Lincoln Aviators from reaching dealers this summer, with the afflicted rides instead travelling by truck to Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly for fixing before buyers could take delivery. As you’d expect, this impacted the Explorer’s sales performance and further weighed down a brand that saw its sales fall 5.6 percent in the last quarter.
Report: Widespread 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator Quality Issues Has Automaker Scrambling
There’s no doubt the next-generation Ford Explorer and reborn Lincoln Aviator are very important vehicles for Ford Motor Company. Advanced, stylish, and packing lofty MSRPs and projected volume that’s sure to make the Blue Oval tons of cash, the worst thing that could occur to these vehicles is a botched rollout served with a side of quality-related stigma.
It seems that’s exactly what’s happening.
While the two platform mates, just now appearing on dealer lots, have already been subject to recalls related to manually-adjusted seatbacks, missing manual park release covers, and instrument panel issues, a number of other problems is keeping Explorers and Aviators away from buyers. Ford is reportedly working overtime to fix the unspecified defects.
12 MPG in 10 Years: Ford Explorer Hybrid's Fuel Economy Figures Come to Light
Barring the development of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the slow march towards better fuel economy, especially in larger vehicles, has been just that: slow. Yet incremental improvements continue, and the latest large family vehicle to see a darker shade of green is Ford’s new-for-2020 Explorer.
Now bearing rear-drive architecture it shares with the Lincoln Aviator, the Explorer drives into its sixth generation with a hybrid and high-performance model in tow. The greenest of the bunch, unlike the Aviator, is not a plug-in proposition, so fuel economy gains are limited. It’s up to buyers to decide if the just-released EPA numbers are worth the extra coin.
First Drive: 2020 Ford Explorer - Premium Pricing
For four generations, Ford offered the Explorer with rear-wheel drive as standard. It went front-drive for the fifth.
Now, the standard drivetrain is rear-drive again. Back to basics, so to speak.
Except, not really. First-gen Explorers didn’t have infotainment systems, or 10-speed automatic transmissions, or available hybrid powertrains. Those staples of modernity have been added over the years.
Whether it was out of nostalgia or an attempt to capitalize on the resurgence of dinosaur-themed tent-pole cinema, or simply an attempt to make us overfed journos get a quick guffaw, Ford PR trotted out an early ‘90s example, complete with Jurassic Park livery, for us to gawk at (rumor has it we may be able to get behind the wheel someday. Fingers crossed). I opened the door and was greeted with what was the new-car smell of my youth. This Explorer needed no 10-speed, no Sync, no hybrid, to charm. Could the 2020 version do the same as it returned to a rear-drive base?
Junkyard Find: 1994 Mazda Navajo LX
The Fastest Cop Car is Not a Car
In September of last year, the Michigan State Police conducted their 2019 Model Year Police Vehicle Evaluations. The purpose of these tests is to provide objective performance data to the individual agencies who are making purchasing decisions for their divisions.
For the automakers, it’s an all-out race for pride in being the superior bad-guy chaser. Ford hands off the title from their own 2018 3.5-liter EcoBoost Police Interceptor AWD (Taurus) sedan to their 2019 Police Interceptor Utility 3.0L EcoBoost AWD Explorer SUV.
Rear Suspension Failures Continue to Plague Ford, Prompting a Dual Recall
This isn’t the first recall for Ford vehicles with rear ends that may step out of line, but it’s certainly the largest. On Wednesday, the automaker announced the recall of 1.2 million Ford Explorers in the U.S. out of fear that rear suspension toe links could fracture, leading to a loss of control.
The recalls covers 2011-2017 Explorer models, with Ford saying the issue has already caused one driver to veer into a curb. Over the past three years, several suspension recalls have dogged this generation of Explorer; the cause of the potential fractures ranged from improper welds to the accumulation of a certain type of mud.
Speaking of that mud, it’s more of a menace than originally thought. In a separate recall, Ford today called for the return of four Ford and Lincoln models sold in Canada to replace vulnerable rear toe links.
Ace of Base: 2020 Ford Explorer XLT
Let’s get one thing clear: it is my opinion that the 2020 Explorer XLT is not the best 2020 Explorer. Powered by a 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-pot, the XLT falls far short of the 400 horsepower 3.0-liter Ecoboost V6 found in ST trim. As a proponent of acceleration, your author will always select the biggest engine.
Not everyone will, however. Scads of buyers, many of whom lie directly in the target market of Ford’s new Explorer, will think the 300 horse mill is more than suitable. In that frame of mind, let’s find out what $36,675 buys you at a Ford store these days.