In December 2020, Ford opened an investigation into a Ford engineering vehicle that experienced a rear drive unit seizure. The final analysis found that the seizure was the result of inadequate lubrication and that a malfunction during the rear drive unit lubricant fill procedure was the cause of the miss-fill. Further investigation found another ten rear drive units with low lubricant fill level and 3 warranty claims for this condition. As a result, Ford will be recalling certain 2020-2021 Ford and Lincoln cars and trucks.

Vehicles Affected Include
2021 Ford Bronco Sport
2020-2021 Ford Edge
2020 Ford Escape
2021 Lincoln Corsair
2020 Lincoln Nautilus
WARNING: Drivers may hear a metallic grinding or whining sound from the rear of the vehicle prior to a rear drive seizure.

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will check the rear drive unit lubricant level. Axles found to have lubricant at the minimum level will be filled to the full level. Axles found to be below the minimum lubricant fill level will be replaced. Ford’s number for this recall is 21S02 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-011.

Drivers experiencing engine vibrations in their 2020-2021 Ford Explorer and 2020-2021 Lincoln Aviator SUVs could have vehicles manufactured with engine mounting fasteners that were not correctly installed.

According to a defect report filed with the NHTSA, the automated tool used to secure the right-hand motor mount fasteners was not functioning properly and a manual handheld tool was used.  The manual backup process was not calibrated correctly and the motor mounts were improperly torqued.  Over time, one or more of the mounts could loosen and the engine will begin to vibrate.  If the problem is not fixed the engine mounts could eventually break.

Ford will notify owners to return to their dealers to have the right-hand motor mount fasteners replaced. The recall is expected to begin February 8, 2021. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S72 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-788.

Ford Motor Company will be contacting the owners of certain 2019 F-250 and F-350, single rear wheel and dual rear wheel 4X4 trucks, because the front axle could have a problem which makes it difficult to control the vehicle.

According to the defect report, the affected vehicles may have been manufactured with front axles with a wheel end yoke that was not properly welded to the axle tube end. An improperly welded axle yoke attachment could affect vehicle control, including:

1. pulling to the right or left
2. mis-alignment of the steering wheel
3. change in steering sensitivity
4. vehicle response time during hard braking

During a hard braking event, drivers may experience a loud popping noise from the front axle before vehicle control is affected.

Owners receiving notices will be instructed to return to their Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the front axle wheel yoke weld location inspected. If the weld is in the wrong place, the axle assembly will be replaced. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S56 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-576 .

Ford have identified a problem affecting the seat back side airbags in a small number of 2020 Ford Explorer and 2020 Lincoln Aviator vehicles.

According to the defect report, the front seat back sub-assemblies may have been placed in the wrong work in progress rack after a machine interruption. Some of the DC runner nuts may have not been torqued, leaving the air bag and seat back module not fully secured. The problem could delay the positioning of the air bag cushioning and the deployment of the airbag could be affected.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return their their Ford or Lincoln dealer so that they can verify that the fasteners have been properly tightened. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S48 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-497.

Ford will be contacting a small number of 2020 Ford F-150 owners because of a problem with the electrical system in their trucks. According to the safety report filed with the NHTSA, the affected vehicles were built at their Kansas City assembly plant June 30, 2020 and July 1, 2020.

These trucks may have been built with a positive power supply cable nut that does not meet design specifications. These nuts do not have the correct torque characteristics or conductive coating needed at the power supply attachment to the starter motor. This could increase the amount of heat generated during starting and could create an electrical arch that could start a fire. Drivers will be alerted of a problem through grinding noises when starting or restarting during a stop-start event, or the engine may not start at all.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have the starter motor B+ power supply attachment nut replaced with the correct part. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S40 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-467.

Ford Motor Company will be asking the owners of certain 2016-2018 Lincoln MKX and 2019-2020 Lincoln Nautilus SUVs, to return to their dealership to fix a wiring problem that could affect the air bags. These vehicles are equipped with 16 way electric tilt seats.

According to the safety report, the seats in these vehicles may have a wiring harness that was not properly protected from the edge of the seat cushion frame. When the tilt function is used, it is possible that the wires could become damaged and, as a result, the airbag system may not function as intended.

Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem, but they will be asking owners to return to their dealerships to have the wire harness inspected and replaced as necessary. Also, a protective flocking tape will be installed onto the exposed edge of the 16-way seat cushion frames. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S37 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-414.

Concerns related to improperly welded second row headrest attachment brackets will have some 2020 Ford Expedition and 2020 Lincoln Navigator vehicles recalled for repairs. Dealers are required to inspect and repair the problem before demonstrating or delivering any new stock.

According to the defect report, an in plant inspection found that the headrest to seat back frame attachment bracket was out of position during assembly and some welds did not properly penetrate the headrest bracket. As a result, the strength of the headrests are weakened and they do not meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for head restraints. An improperly welded headrest bracket may not adequately restrain an occupant during a crash.

Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealership to have the seat structure inspected and replaced as needed. Ford’s number for this recall is 20C12 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-366.

Ford will be contacting a small number of 2020 Mustang owners because of a problem affecting the collision avoidance system in their cars. These vehicles are equipped with a forward looking camera that may not function as intended.

According to the defect report, the affected vehicles have an image processing module, or a forward looking camera that was misaligned during assembly. This incorrect calibration may cause features such as pre-collision assist, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping system, driver alert and auto high beam control to not work as intended. The pre-collision assist system’s effectiveness to detect a frontal collision may be compromised, increasing the risk of an accident and injury.

Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have a lane departure warning system camera alignment procedure done. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S26 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-306.