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Nearly 1.9 million Ford Explorers are being recalled over an unsecured piece of trim

A worker assembles a 2011 Ford Explorer at the Chicago Assembly Plant in 2010 in Chicago. Ford is recalling nearly 1.9 million Explorers in the 2011-2019 model years over a piece of trim that can detach from the vehicles.
Scott Olson
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A worker assembles a 2011 Ford Explorer at the Chicago Assembly Plant in 2010 in Chicago. Ford is recalling nearly 1.9 million Explorers in the 2011-2019 model years over a piece of trim that can detach from the vehicles.

The Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 1.9 million Explorers over a piece of trim that can detach from the vehicle and pose a hazard to other drivers.

Some clips attaching trim to the exterior of the vehicle between the front windows and the windshield "are not properly engaged due to improper assembly or repair," the company said, which can cause the A-pillar trim to come loose or fully detach.

The recall affects certain Explorer SUVs between model years 2011-2019.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a letter to the automaker that a detached piece of trim could become a "road hazard" and increase the risk of a crash.

Ford said it wasn't aware of any accidents or injuries related to the faulty assembly.

The company identified a problem with the part as early as 2018 but determined at the time that it wasn't an unreasonable safety risk due to the "low mass/geometry" of the part. NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation into the issue last February.

Ford said it's received more than 14,000 warranty reports related to missing or detached A-pillar trim parts.

Company spokesperson Maria Buczkowski said "only 5% of the vehicle population" is expected to be affected by the recall, and urged owners to contact their local dealership when replacement parts become available.

Inspections and any necessary replacements will be done free of charge.

Ford said it expects to mail initial letters to owners in March, and drivers can also call Ford customer service directly at 1-866-436-7332.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker recalled more than 112,000 Ford F-150s earlier this month over a faulty part that could cause the parked pickups to roll away. Another 220,000 F-150s were recalled last year over problems with their windshield wiper arms.

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