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Ford recalls nearly 775,000 Explorers for steering issue linked to 6 injury claims

Ford Motor Co. said it is recalling nearly 775,000 Explorer large crossovers for an issue with the cross-axis ball joint that may cause a fractured rear suspension toe link, which could affect steering control and increase the risk of a crash.

The recalled Ford Explorers are from the 2013-17 model years and affect approximately 676,152 vehicles in North America, 59,935 in China, 13,162 in Europe, 190 in South America and 25,257 in other international markets.

Ford said Friday it is aware of six allegations of injury related to this defect in North America.

“Affected vehicles may experience a clunk noise, unusual handling or a misaligned rear wheel,” Ford said in a statement. “Fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.”

To fix the issue, dealers will inspect and replace the cross-axis ball joint as necessary and replace the toe links with an updated design part.

A Ford spokesman did not disclose the parts supplier of the cross-axis ball joints and said the automaker does not discuss details of supplier relationships.

Vehicle owners will be notified starting Aug. 16.

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