Ford has announced a small recall on 2020 Ford Explorer and 2020 Lincoln Aviators . Select units might be missing a manual park release cover, while others might have instrument clusters stuck in Factory Mode. The recall affects 14,135 SUVs in total.
While a vehicle is in production in a manufacturing facility, Ford might put them in what is known as Factory Mode to help reduce battery drain. Affecting the instrument cluster, this mode disables warning alerts, warning chimes, and does not show the PRNDL gear selector display. Ford says one vehicle was in an accident at a production facility as a result of the issue, but nobody was injured.
The covers are a very minor issue to customers, but not to the Feds. This is the tiny tab on the center console near the gear selector that hides the manual park release for the automatic transmission. It’s a requirement for automakers to have covered park releases and to have those covers be removable only with a tool (like a flat-head screwdriver). While it’s difficult to mistakenly pull the lever—just as it would be to mistakenly pull a covered fire alarm in a building—nonetheless it’s a safety concern.