Engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
When customers purchase a 2021 Ford Explorer, they expect to find the reliability they received with older models. After all, Ford dubs this Explorer the “ultimate exploration vehicle.” Yet, customers are left scratching their heads as they deal with faulty engines and defective powertrains.
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If an SUV doesn’t have a powerful and reliable engine, it’s not worth the expense. Right out of the gate, the 2021 Ford Explorer arrived with engine troubles.
One Edmunds user states, “Brand new 2021 limited explorer out of commission with less than 200 miles, car says overheating won’t drive… take it to Ford dealer they tell the tow truck they have no space, so they sell the vehicles but don’t want to service them… they blamed COVID.”
One wouldn’t expect a vehicle that’s been in production so long to have major engine issues. After all, shouldn’t Ford have perfected engine manufacturing by now? Yet, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V788000 shows otherwise. This recall illustrates that the right-hand motor mount fasteners weren’t tightened correctly in some vehicles. This poor design can cause the mount to loosen over time, which leads to motor vibration. The excessive vibration then causes the axle to disconnect from the engine, which ceases power. If this occurs while someone is driving, they are at a higher risk for creating an accident. Clearly, this vehicle isn’t meant for exploring, especially if it can’t even be driven out of the driveway.
2021 Ford Explorer Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Back Over Prevention
|Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
|Vehicle Speed Control
|Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Problems with the Powertrain
The transmission is just as important, creating a smooth-shifting experience that provides a seamless drive. But, owners state that the powertrain is just as defective as the engine.
Here’s another Edmunds review to consider. “This 2021 model is not a productive and the previous years. The truck fails to perform in the snow, and intelligent 4wd is terrible. I was stuck 2, where my 2018 would power through.”
Getting stuck in an SUV with four-wheel-drive is just not acceptable. Yet, this is only the start of the transmission problems. Service Bulletin #SSM 49329 states that the transmission creates faults leading to diagnostic trouble codes, an illuminated wrench light and intermittent crank issues. At this point, it would be safe to say that the 2021 Explorer is the “ultimate exploration vehicle” of the dealership’s service department. It likely spends more time there than on the roads.
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