Serious Ford recall affects 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator with missing part

By Melissa Locker

In the words of my kindergarten teacher, Ford Motor. Co. made a little oopsie.

After shipping out its brand-new 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs on Wednesday, the automaker says it may have forgotten to include a part that keeps the car from moving while parked, “increasing the risk of crash.” Specifically, it’s missing part of the manual park release cover, which the Detroit Free Press notes “is not a minor issue.”

The recall affects 13,896 vehicles in the United States and 239 in Canada, Ford said.

“Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require the manual park release cover be in place and only removable with a tool. If the cover is not installed, the manual park release lever may be inadvertently activated, which could result in unintended vehicle movement if the electronic park brake is not applied,” Ford said in its release.

That wasn’t the only issue, though. The instruments in the affected vehicles may be in factory mode, which helpfully disables warning alerts and chimes and does not display the gear positions and which gear—drive, reverse, park, neutral—is selected, the Ford alert said. Still, Ford swears the cars are safe to drive, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Affected vehicles were built at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant and include:

    2020 Ford Explorer vehicles built from March 27, 2019, to July 24, 2019

    2020 Lincoln Aviator vehicles built from April 10, 2019, to July 24, 2019

The good news is that the vehicles are so brand-new and hot off the assembly line that the majority of them are still at the dealership, and Ford can fix the little oopsie before they are delivered to customers.

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