Ford is recalling 39,013 Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs due to fire hazard. All affected vehicles are model year 2021, including 32,711 Expeditions and 6,302 Navigators. An announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cites a warning from Ford, advising owners of affected vehicles to park outdoors. Fires can occur when vehicles are running or stationary.
16 fires have already been confirmed, and at this time a specific cause is unknown. A timeline of events shows that an investigation was opened in March 2022 into eight underhood fires. Six of them were from the passenger side of the vehicle, the other two were unknown. Subsequently, further fires were reported, bringing the current total to 16. 12 of the fires occurred while the vehicles were stationary, four of which occurred while the vehicle was in motion. Only one report that did not result in a fire mentions a melted battery junction box. There is a potential fire related burn.
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Although a specific cause is unknown, the fires are believed to have originated on the passenger side of the engine bay. In addition to the above investigations, some guests have reported burning smells and smoke coming from this area.
Curiously, 14 of the 16 confirmed fires occurred in rental vehicles from multiple companies in multiple locations. NHTSA’s recall notice does not mention rentals, but NHTSA’s timeline of events and press release do. Regardless of the end user, Ford currently has a reduced production schedule for the affected Expedition and Navigator models from December 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. The automaker is advising affected customers to contact a Ford or Lincoln dealership, or call 866-436-7332 for production information on a specific vehicle.
With investigations into the fires ongoing, there is no known solution at this time. The recall was officially posted on May 17; Ford will notify dealers starting today (May 19) with direct-to-owner letters expected to begin May 23. Until the problem is identified, Ford is asking affected Expedition/Navigator owners to park outdoors away from structures or other vehicles.