Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Ford will sell some Explorer SUVs with missing features

Impacted by the ongoing global chip shortage, Ford has said it will begin selling some of its Explorer SUVs without particular features, but added that customers can have the necessary components fitted later once the chips became available.

The news was first reported by Automotive News in a report citing a meeting between Ford executives and dealers on Saturday, March 14.

The plan has since been confirmed by a Ford spokesperson who told the Detroit Free Press that the move is designed to expedite the delivery of the Explorer to customers, adding that it does not impact any safety features linked to the SUV.

However, the absence of the electronics means that the vehicles will ship without functionality for the Explorer’s rear seat controls that operate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, though these features will be controllable from the driver’s seat.

Customers taking delivery of the vehicles will be notified by their dealer when the chips become available so they can take their carin  to have the technology fitted. This should happen within the next 12 months, Ford said.

Those agreeing to take delivery of an Explorer without its full functionality will be offered a discount on the cost of the vehicle.

As Automotive News pointed out, Ford’s move appears to be a variation of an idea the automaker first explored last summer when it considered asking dealers to store partially built vehicles until the missing components became available.

Now, though, Ford has advanced the plan, deeming it OK to offer the SUVs to customers who agree to bring in their new vehicle at a later date for the installation of the necessary components that will give their automobile its full functionality.

The move will help Ford to clear its factory sites for new vehicles, with dealers able to do the same, so neither will have to deal with lots clogged with cars waiting for parts.

Last year, the global chip shortage prompted Ford to offer some of its new F-150 pickups without the start/stop fuel-conservation feature while the automaker waited for the relevant chips to come in. Owners were offered a $50 credit for the inconvenience. Tesla also hit the headlines toward the end of last year when it emerged that some Model 3 and Model Y cars were shipping to customers ehile missing USB-C ports, with the electric-car maker promising to install them once the components became available.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid delivers 28 mpg without sacrificing towing capacity
2020 Ford Explorer hybrid

The redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer offers a number of improvements over the outgoing version, including better gas mileage. The Explorer gets a hybrid powertrain option for the first time, and now that Official Environmental Protection Agency fuel-economy figures are available, we can finally see if it has a significant impact on fuel consumption.

The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid is rated at 28 mpg combined (27 mpg city, 29 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive, and 25 mpg combined (23 mpg city, 26 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive. That's significantly better than the most efficient previous-generation Explorer, as well as most other similarly sized vehicles. But it's more noteworthy that the Explorer Hybrid achieves those numbers without sacrificing capability.

Read more
Discover the engineering Easter eggs in the new 2020 Ford Explorer
2020 Ford Explorer ST

The 2020 Ford Explorer marks the first redesign for Ford's midsize SUV in eight years. Ford has pulled out all the stops, switching the Explorer to a new rear-wheel drive platform, and adding hybrid and sporty ST models. Those are the big changes, but engineers also sweated the small stuff, as the Detroit Free Press found in a deep dive on the new SUV. These are a few of those engineering Easter eggs.

Ford shocked the industry when it decided to give its bestselling F-150 pickup truck an aluminum body to save weight. The larger Super Duty trucks, as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs, eventually got aluminum bodies as well. Ford didn't give the Explorer an aluminum body, but saving weight was still a priority, Bill Gubing, the Explorer's chief engineer, said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. Engineers just opted to use a complex mix of materials to shed pounds, Gubing said.

Read more
Ford recalls 1.3 million Explorer and F-150 vehicles over safety issues
Ford Explorer

Ford announced multiple safety recalls on Wednesday, June 12. Read on for all the details.
The biggest recall affects 1.2 million Ford Explorer SUVs in the U.S. over an issue with the suspension that has the potential to affect steering control, “increasing the risk of a crash,” according to the company.

It also affects 28,000 Ford Explorers in Canada and one — yes, one — vehicle in Mexico.

Read more