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Ford recalls nearly 1.9 million Explorer SUVs over safety issue

Ford has announced a recall of close to 1.9 million Explorer SUVs over a safety issue that could see the windshield trim panels coming off and flying into the path of other drivers.

Clips that hold the panels in place have reportedly been coming loose, so Ford will fix the issue that it believes affects about 5% of the recalled Explorers.

The recall covers 1,889,110 Ford Explorer SUVs from the 2011-through-2019 model years, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ford said it’s aware of 568 complaints about the issue and more than 14,000 warranty reports claiming that the parts were missing or detached, the Associated Press (AP) reported. The automaker said that it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries resulting from the issue.

U.S. regulators began investigating the problem 12 months ago, at which point more than 160 complaints had been registered. Ford had initially decided not to put out a recall, the AP said, as it considered the part to be of an insignificantly small size. But U.S. regulators said that if it flew off, it could increase the chance of a crash occurring, both for the Explorer and any vehicle traveling at speed behind it or close by.

Owners of impacted Explorers will be notified of the recall from March 13. Ford said affected owners should have their vehicles inspected by a local dealer once the required parts become available. The dealer will ensure the clips are engaged and use adhesive to secure them.

In the U.S., it’s easy to check if your vehicle is up for a recall, whether for this or any other one. Simply enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the NHTSA’s website.

Owners can also contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

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