NHTSA opens probe into nearly 1.9M Ford Explorers

WASHINGTON — U.S. motor vehicle safety regulators have launched a safety investigation into approximately 1.9 million Ford Explorer large crossovers after reports of windshield trim panels detaching while driving on highways.

NHTSA’s Defects Investigation Office said it has received 164 complaints about 2011-2019 Ford Explorers that had their trim removed while driving on the highway. This varies by state.

Some complaints, according to a report released Tuesday, said that “drivers in vehicles following behind the affected Ford vehicle were startled when the trim hit the windshield and momentarily lost control of the vehicle.” claims.

No injuries, accidents or fatalities were listed in the report.

A Ford spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The agency initiated an investigation, known as a preliminary assessment, to assess the scope, frequency and potential safety risks of suspected defects.

Most NHTSA investigations begin as a preliminary evaluation, where agency engineers request information from manufacturers, including data on complaints, injuries, and warranty claims. Manufacturers can also give their opinion on alleged defects and issue recalls.

After evaluation, NHTSA will either close the investigation or move on to the next phase. According to NHTSA, if a safety-related defect exists, the agency may send a “recall request” letter to the manufacturer.

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