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Ford recalls 661,000 Explorer SUVs in North America after NHTSA request

Ford Motor is recalling 661,000 Explorer sport utility vehicles in North America at the request of U.S. regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as retention pins could loosen and allow roof rail covers to detach from the automobile.

The recall concerns 2016 through 2019 model year vehicles. Dealers will install push-pins and replace any defective rail clips and roof rail covers.

The automaker said in documents posted Sunday that the NHTSA first inquired regarding the issue in early 2020 following 11 reports about roof rail cover detachment. In April, it requested the automaker issue a recall, which the automaker had initially said was not required because of the low chances of a roof rail detaching, its small weight, and the fact drivers would likely detect a loose roof rail cover, the documents noted.

The automaker in November said it would extend its warranty to cover the issue for 10 years or 150,000 miles before accepting the recall on April 30.

A Ford spokeswoman said Sunday the automaker has not seen any reports of any accidents or injuries associated with this condition.

The automobiles covered by the recall have roof rail covers that are painted silver, black or absolute black. Customer notifications will start from the week of June 28.

The recall includes 620,483 vehicles in the United States, 36,419 in Canada and 4,260 in Mexico.

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