The recall of the Ford Explorer leads to an investigation by the Ministry of Transport

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a Ford Motor Co. recall of more than a quarter million Explorer SUVs in the United States after receiving complaints about repairs to prevent the vehicles from unexpectedly rolling away even while is located in the park.

The problem, attributed to a broken rear axle mounting bolt that could cause the driveshaft to disengage, was fixed by a Ford software update designed to apply the electronic parking brake if the driveshaft failed, the agency said. But according to two complaints from vehicle owners, their SUVs behaved erratically after the repair.

In one of those instances, the Explorer would reportedly come to a complete stop at speeds of up to 30 or 40 miles per hour. In the second, it allegedly started moving while the driver tried to disengage the electronic brake. No injuries were reported in those cases, although the first driver reported hitting a utility pole when the Explorer began to roll downhill after an abrupt stop, apparently because the powertrain was disengaged.

The original recall covered certain 2020 through 2022 Explorers with 2.3-liter engines, as well as 3-liter and 3.3-liter hybrids, and the 3-liter ST. Also included were 2020 and 2021[ads1] Explorer Police hybrids and those with 3.3-liter gas engines. Both reported incidents involved 2021 Explorers.

A Ford representative said the company is cooperating with NHTSA on the matter.

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