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2011 - 2018 Explorer Power Steering Issue

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Locustlanefarms, June 21, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. knoxgang

    knoxgang New Member

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    Power Steering Assist Failure

    I experienced the same problem with my 2011 Explorer three times over two days last week. Each time I got a warning chime immediately followed by several messages on my left cluster - Power Steering Assist Failure, Terrain Management System Fault, and Service Advance Trac. I immediately lost power steering and it took great force to steer the vehicle off the road. The turn signals did not stay on, I could not turn the Traction Control back on via the Vehicle Settings on the left cluster, and the Terrain Management dial was not lit and did not function.

    The first time this occurred, I turned off the car and waited a few minutes before restarting. The power steering and turn signal functions returned, although the Terrain Management System was still inoperable. I ran a vehicle health report which showed no problems.

    The next day when the problem occurred, I ran a vehicle health report before turning off the car. The report said Urgent - Service Steering and Urgent - TC (Traction Control), IVD, RSC Event or Fault. All sections indicated a system failure.

    We took the car to the dealer the next day and they replaced the Rack and Pinion and the Gear Assembly. The repairs cost almost $2000.

    We have filed a complaint with NHTSA. Anyone experiencing these problems should file a complaint via the following link:

    https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml

    There is an open investigation regarding this problem and there needs to be a recall.
     
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  3. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum knoxgang.:wavey:
    Sorry to hear about the issue but glad to read that you filed a report. Ford's initial response to this problem was that they didn't consider it a 'safety' issue since the vehicle can still be steered. From posts that I've read, that manual steering takes quite a bit of work.

    Peter
     
  4. knoxgang

    knoxgang New Member

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    Hi peterk9

    I've been reviewing NHTSA's investigation and the documentation filed by Ford. It appears that the investigation was opened in June 2012 and is still open. Ford's last response was in June 2013. You're right - at that point Ford determined that this is not a safety issue.

    They state that drivers are clearly informed of a change in the status of the steering system via an audible chime and display of a fault message. This is not an advance warning as the loss of power steering happens immediately - there is barely time to read the warning and react before the steering capability is diminished.

    They also point out that the loss of power steering assist is unlikely to be associated with accidents at higher speeds because the car basically uses less assist at high speeds and more assist at low speeds, such as parking lot maneuvers. Do you know anyone that will continue to drive at a higher rate of speed when they receive a warning that their power steering assist has failed? Isn't a normal response to slow your car down to move it out of traffic? So you slow your car down and steering becomes harder. I've been driving for 30 years and that was my exact reaction. I crossed two lanes of traffic - while slowing my car down - to move my car off the road. By the time I pulled off the road I was probably going 20 mph and had to use a lot of force to pull out of the traffic lane. Imagine the same scenario with an inexperienced driver (like my 17 year old daughter!).

    So I guess my question is, where do we go from here? I'd like to followup with NHTSA regarding the status of the investigation. I also want to file a formal complaint with Ford. I'm not willing to let this go. I owned my car for 3 years before I experienced a problem, so my guess is that other 2011 owners will experience issues down the road, no pun intended!
     
  5. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I agree that this is still a serious issue which could result in an accident. In fact, one member did attribute it to an accident he was involved in. If you want to pursue this with Ford, which I think is the right idea, have a look at post 740 for address info.

    Peter
     
  6. justjim_pia

    justjim_pia New Member

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    Just got the recall notice! 14S06 is the recall campaign, hope this puts a major worry behind me. Read about it here, and checked owner.ford.com with my VIN, and sure enough there's a recall available.
     
  7. U.A.V Explorer

    U.A.V Explorer New Member

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    I just heard about this earlier today and I just went on owner.ford.com and checked it out with my VIN and sure enough the recall for the power steering is listed. What's weird is I have a 2011 and have to this date never encountered any issues with the power steering. But I'm still making an appointment to take it in to the dealer for the recall.
     
  8. jrmexplorer

    jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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    Great catch! this is huge news to everyone, so I made a new thread on it because it's kind of buried on this one.


    http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3302827#post3302827
     
  9. Pauli

    Pauli New Member

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    First time on here and found this forum by researching a thumping noise I'm having when I turn the steering wheel. Been going on a few months and was wondering if anyone here was having any noise before the power steering problems started. The noise is not continuous but is just a single thump that happens when I turn either way. Just wondering if I may be in for some trouble. I checked owner.ford a little while ago and my Explorer is not in the recall. Appreciate any help
     
  10. new to ford

    new to ford Active Member

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    Our explorer is part of the recall as well. FYI, we have never had any problems with our power steering. Good move on FORD's part to do this recall.
     
  11. Mireeves97

    Mireeves97 New Member

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    It's about time.

    It's been 2 years since I had mine go out. I hope they really know what the problem was. I left the dealer with my replaced steering rack not feeling like Ford even knew if it was really fixed. I don't have it anymore.
     
  12. dallasdog

    dallasdog New Member

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    Ford seemed to do everything possible to avoid having a recall for this problem for nearly three years. I don't see this as a good move on their part at all. It looks like they finally saw what is happening with GM and wanted to avoid that fate (since GM's inaction in admitting the problem for years was cited in their punishment). Ford also say they have discovered a simple (cheap) solution to the problem. Those are the factors at work in my opinion. Only time will tell if this safety threat really comes to an end without serious injuries.
     
  13. tropicvi

    tropicvi Active Member

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    Good... mine is on the list... with warranty ending in a few weeks, I will feel better knowing this is threat will be reduced, or if it happens, there was a recal. in place.
     
  14. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I completely agree.. Ford isn't doing this because they want to. They are doing it because they can slip it in and not have it affect them because of all the GM stuff going on in the news.

    Although I'm glad Ford is taking care of it finally, I can't give them credit for it.
     
  15. DelSil

    DelSil Member

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    Knoxgang, I see you are in Kennett Square. I took mine 2011 to Garnet Ford in Chadds Ford on Rt 202 and they fixed it for about $1800 about a month ago. Luckily I still had warranty. One of my messages on this thread I posted a pic of my service papers from Garnet with part numbers.
     
  16. knoxgang

    knoxgang New Member

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    I wasn't able to view your repair order, but Fred Beans in West Chester replaced the Electronic Power Steering Unit (HE Gear Assembly - Steering) although it's hard to identify the part number on my invoice. Parts and labor came to $1936.44. We were out of warranty.

    The good news is that we followed up with the dealer immediately after hearing about the recall last week, and are supposed to receive our reimbursement check this week. I'd suggest that anyone who has paid for these repairs out of pocket follow up with their dealer instead of wait for the recall paperwork to be issued in July. Fred Beans has done a remarkable job in resolving our issue.
     
  17. Bruce1

    Bruce1 New Member

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    Add another Explorer to the list. We have had our 2014 Explorer for a couple of months and less than 2500 miles. Power steering went out on my wife with her 94 year old Dad in the car. Not a safety issue?? Who at Ford came up with that? Four years to finally do a recall on something this serious and not a word from our dealer indicating that their may be an issue with the steering. Without a doubt, Ford knows which part numbers are at risk... or are they just replacing parts with no engineering upgrade? Haven't seen anything from Ford on what specific part is failing and what is being done to reengineer the steering rack to prevent future failure. Any Ford Service folk out there that might be able to shed some light on the actual design flaw and what has been done to prevent this failure on the replacement parts. If upgrades have been done, are there steering rack serial numbers that we can check to make sure that the part being put in to our new Explorer is the latest and most reliable part. There are a lot of elderly people and people with disabilities that are being put at severe risk with this type of failure. The steering ratio on the Explorer is not high enough to permit a less than husky person to control the vehicle during a U-turn or other hard-turn maneuver. The Ford that I grew up with would be stepping up to the plate on this with a lot more sense of urgency than what is being demonstrated by their current efforts. Very disappointed.
     
  18. dakodasara

    dakodasara New Member

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  19. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  20. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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  21. Bruce1

    Bruce1 New Member

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    Thanks for the response, but this was a known problem for years and Ford not only failed to recognize and address the problem, but held off the recall until a week ago. Not sure a recall search would have shown anything for most of us suffering with this engineering failure. What hasn't been mentioned IDs that this failure also prevents the signal lights from functioning, yet the Ford dealer said it's ok to drive the car for three weeks while waiting for parts. The four wheel drive, signal lights, anti-skid, and other systems are affected by this failure and no guarantee that Ford has done anything to resolve the problem. Is there an upgrade to the existing steering gear assembly with the replacement parts?

    Again, thanks for your response, but dealers should research and inform the customer of existing unresolved maintenance issues as part of the excellent customer service that has been part of the Ford customer experience for generations.
     

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