A logo is seen on the grill of an E-transit concept vehicle during a press event at the Ford Halewood transmissions plant in Liverpool


  • Ford issued a recall on certain 2020-2022 Explorers as they may roll away even if they're in "park"
  • It updated its software that would activate the electronic parking brake
  • The NHTSA has begun a probe on the recall after receiving complaints about the repaired vehicles

Authorities have launched an investigation into a Ford Explorer recall after receiving complaints that the SUVs behaved erratically following repairs.

Ford issued the recall on certain 2020-2022 Explorers back in April 2022 due to fractures in the rear axle bolt, which may cause the driveshaft to disconnect. The vehicles may end up rolling away unexpectedly even if it's placed "in park if the parking brake is not applied."

The company said this could increase the "risk of crash and injury." It addressed the issue with a software update designed to activate the electronic parking brake when the drive shaft fails, explained the Associated Press.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has now opened an investigation into the recall after receiving two complaints of the vehicles behaving erratically following the repairs.

In one case, the user reported that the vehicles would suddenly come to a complete stop while driving at speeds of 30 or 35 miles per hour or less, reported Reuters. This was reportedly experienced by three different drivers of the vehicle.

In another complaint, the user reported the vehicle started moving "while the driver was attempting to disengage the electronic brake." There were no injuries reported, though in the first report, the vehicle hit a utility pole when it rolled downhill after the abrupt stop.

The investigation aims to determine if the remedy provided by the recalls were adequate. According to the agency, while the software update applied in response to the recall did provide a fix to the problem of the vehicles suddenly rolling away even while in park, there was no remedy in place for the source of the safety problem — the failed rear axle.

Ford did not issue a comment on the investigation but told AP News that it was cooperating with the NHTSA.

Only recently, Ford issued a recall on 125,000 vehicles because the engines may "fail prematurely" and pose a fire risk. The company urged users to park and shut the engine off if they experience things like smelling or seeing smoke and hearing "unexpected" engine noises. This recall affected Ford Escape and Mavericks and Lincoln Corsair models.