2021 Ford Expedition® Safety Recall: Battery Junction Box
Nothing is more vital than making sure you and your loved ones are safe. When problems occur for your vehicle, Ford and your dealer are committed to making it right and fixing it quickly. We recently discovered an issue with the battery junction box equipped on some 2021 Ford Expedition vehicles. We are contacting affected customers directly, but you can also check to see whether your vehicle is impacted by entering your VIN here.
If your Expedition SUV is included in this recall, there is a chance the battery junction box can cause a fire. As a safety precaution, park outside and away from structures if possible. If you see smoke while driving, find a safe place to pull over and park, then call your Ford dealer for service.
Your Ford dealer can repair this for you. Please contact your dealer to make an appointment by calling or booking service online or on the FordPass® App or Lincoln Way™ App. They will work with you to schedule service at a time and location that is most convenient for you. They can even send a mobile repair technician to your home – at no charge.
In the meantime, you can still choose to drive your vehicle. But if you do not feel comfortable driving your Expedition, your local Ford dealer will also help you secure a loaner vehicle. They’ll do their best to provide you something comparable to drive.
We care deeply about making vehicles you can count on every day. If you have any further questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact us at 833-807-3673. We will assign a dedicated Ford service team member to personally assist you every step of the way.
Thank you for being a Ford Owner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a recall?
We’ve discovered a vehicle safety issue in some 2021 model-year Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator® vehicles built between July 27, 2020, and August 31, 2021. Some of these vehicles have experienced an under-hood fire, even while parked and off.
What causes the issue?
We believe these vehicle fires can be traced to a circuit board supplier that changed manufacturing locations during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The printed circuit boards produced there are sometimes susceptible to a high-current short. They were supplied to us and installed in our Ford Expedition® and Lincoln Navigator® SUVs produced during the recall window. We haven’t seen this issue on printed circuit boards produced at other locations by this or any other suppliers we use. While this seems to be a supplier’s error, the problem is ours to fix.
How many reported incidents are you aware of? Can you provide any further details?
Here’s what we know today. These incidents began in the rear of the engine compartment near the passenger side where the battery junction box is packaged. Of the 21 reported instances, 18 occurred in vehicles owned by rental companies at multiple locations and three were retail customer vehicles. In all, 15 happened while the vehicle was parked and off, one while the vehicle was parked and on, and five while the vehicle was moving.
Are there any accidents and injuries associated with this issue?
As of now, we know of one injury and no accidents.
What was the potential injury?
Unfortunately, we’ve learned that someone was injured with a burn. To protect our owners’ safety, we’re moving quickly to set this recall in motion and get the word out.
When did you first learn about this issue?
We have a team called the Ford Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) that began investigating on March 24, 2022, when eight under-hood fires and one melted battery junction box were reported. Since then, we’ve moved quickly to remedy this situation.
What has Ford been doing since the investigation began?
We’ve gathered our management, engineers, technical teams, communications teams and suppliers to get answers and solutions. Our Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) team also continued reviewing the issue and conducted vehicle inspections, site visits with rental company personnel, supplier reviews, product design reviews, field and connected data analyses and more. We want to protect our customers and service these impacted vehicles as quickly as possible.
What is the repair?
Our dealers will first inspect the battery junction box. If there’s melting damage, they will replace the entire component. If there’s no damage, next steps depend on whether vehicles are equipped with an 800-watt heavy-duty engine radiator fan motor or a 700-watt standard-duty engine radiator fan motor.
If you have an 800-watt system, we urge you to schedule a service appointment with your dealer this August. The engine fan ground wire from the battery junction box will then be removed because the ground circuit could overheat the printed circuit board and cause a fire. We’ll send a FordPass® App or Lincoln Way™ App notification to anyone with 800-watt systems today.
If your vehicle has a 700-watt system, please know that auxiliary box parts are expected later this summer. We’ll send out notices to schedule service with your dealer at that time. Our dealers will follow the same 800-watt recall steps along with adding an auxiliary box with a wire jumper. You will get a FordPass® App or Lincoln Way™ App notification with 700-watt systems today, and we’ll update you once parts are available.
Who is the supplier responsible for this issue?
The component manufacturer we noted in our filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is Western Diversified Plastics.
Why do repairs vary by radiator type?
They’re engineered slightly differently. For the 700-watt repair, adding the auxiliary box removes the relay, which contains the potentially troubling ground wire from the vehicle. In the 800-watt system, the relay isn’t a potential problem. It’s there but it’s not functional.
When will all vehicles affected by this recall be serviced?
Our priority is protecting our customers quickly. Anyone with an 800-watt heavy-duty engine radiator fan motor should be able to make a dealer appointment for repairs starting in August. Parts should be available for anyone with a 700-watt standard-duty engine radiator fan motor beginning in September. We’ll notify you as soon as they are available so that you can schedule service with your dealer immediately.
What should I do with my recalled vehicle in the meantime?
We’re advising customers with certain 2021 Ford Expedition® and Lincoln Navigator® vehicles to park them outside and away from structures. You can still choose to drive your vehicle under this safety recall.
What if I feel uncomfortable driving or owning a vehicle impacted by this recall?
We understand that this could cause concern and is an unexpected inconvenience. If you don’t feel comfortable driving your affected vehicle, local dealers will help you secure a loaner vehicle. They’ll do their best to provide something comparable for you.
Should I still drive my car?
You can still choose to drive your vehicle under this safety recall. The issue appears to be progressive, meaning that you will likely first notice a smell for a period of time before smoke appears. It’s important to contact your dealer if you notice anything unusual.
Is Ford offering rental or loaner vehicles as part of this recall?
If you’re uncomfortable driving your vehicle or unable to park outside away from structures (i.e., you live in a high-rise condo with attached parking garage), contact your dealer for a complimentary comparable loaner vehicle (except for fuel and insurance).
What should I do if my Expedition® SUV or Navigator® SUV experiences an under-hood fire issue?
If you’ve been affected, please call your local dealer, or (833) 807-3673.
How many vehicles are affected in this recall, and where are they?
In the U.S., 66,221 vehicles are affected. Globally, 77,891 vehicles are affected, including 4,802 in Canada. The rest are in Asia, South America and the Middle East.
What is the split between Navigator® SUVs and Expedition® SUVs in the U.S.?
There are 56,241 Expedition® SUVs affected: 38,926 with standard-duty radiator fan motor (700W) and 17,315 with heavy-duty radiator fan motor (800W). For the Navigator®, 9,980 SUVs are affected: 5,917 with standard-duty radiator fan motor (700W) and 4,063 with heavy-duty radiator fan motor (800W).
How many vehicles will likely experience this issue?
We don’t have the data to make an accurate estimate right now.
Where were the affected vehicles built?
These vehicles were assembled at a Kentucky Truck Plant between July 27, 2020, and August 31, 2021.
Why was the build window expanded to include about 30,000 more vehicles?
We’re being cautious because we want to protect your safety. Of the five new incidents since we filed our recall with National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in May, two happened outside the original build window. This and a suspect supplier manufacturing timeframe led us to expand the recall through August 2021.
Does this issue include the entire 2021 model year?
No, the only vehicles affected with this battery junction box issue are certain 2021 model-year Ford Expedition® and Lincoln Navigator® vehicles built between July 27, 2020, and August 31, 2021. Customers who are affected have been notified.
What if I have a 2021 model-year vehicle outside this date range (including 2020 and 2022 model years) and feel uncomfortable driving or owning a vehicle not affected by this recall?
We want to reassure you that no other models or model years are affected. Continue driving as usual without worry.
Is there anything to look for that could indicate there’s an issue with the vehicle?
It seems to be progressive. Customers have reported first noticing a burning smell. This could then be followed by smoke while you’re stopped or smoke from the front passenger engine compartment while you’re driving.
When will dealers be notified about the safety recall and the recommended fix?
We told our global network of dealers about the remedies and affected vehicles on July 8, and they are standing by to help.
When will you notify customers?
We’re treating this recall with a high sense of urgency. We reached out to customers via the FordPass® App and Lincoln Way™ App on July 8. We’re also following up by mail after finalizing the addresses of affected owners during the week of July 18.
What is the Ford reference number for this recall?
Our recall reference numbers are 22S36 and 22S48.
How much is this recall costing Ford?
This isn’t information we’re disclosing at this time.