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NHTSA Investigates Older Ford Explorers for Falling Parts

2012 Ford Explorer | Photo: Ford
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Daniel Rufiange
A total of 1.86 million vehicles are potentially affected

•    The NHTSA is investigating the previous-generation Ford Explorer, sold from 2011 to 2019.

•    Mouldings around the windshield could fly off while the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds.

•    A total of 1.86 million models are potentially targeted by the investigation.

The U.S. government's highway safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is investigating complaints that windshield moldings can come off of 2011-2019 Ford Explorer SUVs while traveling at highway speeds. 

NHTSA says it has received 164 complaints about the problem, which evidently is showing up now as the vehicles get older. A total of 1.86 million vehicles are included in the investigation. 

The generation of the Ford Explorer introduced in 2011 enjoyed incredible popularity. At a time when many assumed the model was on its last legs, Ford gave it a second life by upgrading it to a unibody structure. The SUV became a top seller for the American automaker. 

One of the risks regarding the issue with the mouldings is that, if they come when the vehicle is moving at high speed, they can of hit other vehicles, but also motorcyclists. In this case, it can cause a loss of control and an accident that can result in death.

As of this writing, the agency has no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem, according to its document released Tuesday.

NHTSA says it will determine the frequency of the problem and the safety implications of parts flying off vehicles.

The investigation could lead to a recall, but so far there hasn't been one.

Ford says it is working with the NHTSA.

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Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists