The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is evaluating 2011-2019 Ford Explorers with respect to allegations that windshield trim panels may detach when driving at “highway speeds.”
According to documentation filed by ODI, a preliminary evaluation of the reported issue opened on January 27, 2023.
“A windshield trim panel can detach while driving at highway speeds,” ODI writes. “This could cause the detached piece to hit the windshield of a vehicle, or even a motorcyclist, following behind the subject vehicle and cause a loss of vehicle control and a crash.”
An estimated 1,864,480 2011-2019 Ford Explorer vehicles may be affected by the recall. As of the start of the evaluation, ODI had received 164 complaints on those model-year vehicles. However, no crashes or injuries have been reported.
“Some of the complaints reported that the driver of the vehicle following behind the subject Ford vehicle allegedly was startled when the trim piece hit the windshield and momentarily lost control of the vehicle,” ODI continues.
The office’s evaluation will assess the scope, frequency and consequences of the alleged defect. The evaluation will close once the manufacturer is notified of recall recommendations or no defects are identified.
It is amazing how long this has been a huge issue and it is just now becoming noticed. Just another of many flawed designs.
The trim panels in question appear to be the shiny black plastic trim at the sides of the windshield. The attachment clips break and the plastic part becomes loose and is detached by the force of the wind. There is a guy on YouTube showing how to glue it in place with JB Weld adhesive. This sort of fix may cause issues if the windshield needs to be replaced.
Ford had changed service procedure on OEM and told you to urethane the outers to the inner moldings, Very VERY pricey, Hate giving customer cash quotes on 11-19 Explorer as Inner and Outer molding kits are $700+
It is good to know that the issues we have had with a couple of the Explorers in our shop was probably not us. It is a frustrating issue since it isn’t every one and would leave us perplexed as to what else we could have done.