Ford Motor said Wednesday it was recalling 2.24 million older Explorer sport utility vehicles worldwide because trim retention clips may not be properly engaged.

The recall includes 1.89 million SUVs in the United States and covers 2011 through 2019 model year vehicles because the trim could detach, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Wednesday.

Ford said it was unaware of any reports of crashes or injuries relating to the recall.

Dealers will inspect and replace the A-pillar trim as necessary. The A pillar on a car is the metal piece that supports the windshield. Ford stopped using the part in 2019.

Ford said it expects 5% of the vehicle population to be impacted. Owners of the affected vehicles may see gaps around a loose A-pillar trim or detect audible rattles or excessive wind noise from the A-pillar area.

The automaker said it first received an informal inquiry from NHTSA in 2018 related to exterior A-pillar trim parts detachments on 2012-2014 Explorer vehicles.

Ford said that in 2018, it determined the issue did not pose an unreasonable risk to safety. In 2021, it reopened a review of the issue but again determined no recall was needed.

In February 2023, NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation to review the issue and in August, Ford received an inquiry from Transport Canada over the same issue.

NHTSA told Ford the trim detachment while driving was a road safety hazard to other vehicles. Ford said it was aware of 14,337 warranty reports alleging missing or detached exterior A-pillar trim parts.


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