Ford Recalls 653,000 F-Series, Expeditions, Navigators for Bad Wipers – 18 Products Affected by Safety Defect

Ford Motor is recalling 2020-2021 F-150, Expedition, 2020-2022 Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, and 2020-2021 Lincoln Navigator vehicles. The windshield wiper arms may break, causing the windshield wipers to fail on ~653,000 trucks. Ford has known about the problems since last August. There are no reports of accidents or injuries associated with this safety defect, Ford said in the required NHTSA filing just made public. Parts are not yet available to replace the arms.In an apparent attempt to limits the costs of an expensive recall, Ford will not replace the wiper blades unless they are missing.

During August of 2021, Ford became aware of stripped wiper arm splines on certain Expedition vehicles as the defect was brought to Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group for review (CCRG). “Routine Ford monitoring of field data had identified reports related to driver or passenger wiper arms coming loose, not working, or detaching.

Passenger and driver side wiper arms are independently attached to the wiper system linkage assembly. Several warranty reports contained technician comments indicating stripped splines in the wiper arms, as well as assembly alignment keys that fell out or were missing.” Ford said.

Subsequent supplier analysis of field return wiper arms found that some exhibited spline casting tooth height that was not to specification. Ford’s investigation found that the splined design of the wiper arms and associated un-named supplier tooling are similar among the Expedition, Navigator, F-150, Super Duty and Medium Truck vehicles. “Further investigation of the supplier processes found that tooth head casting was not being measured correctly for wiper arms used on these products,” according to Ford

The CCRG then expanded its search for reports from the field to also include all vehicle models with the same design. “A low number of reports was identified. CCRG continued to monitor the field reports and conduct statistical analyses of the data,” Ford said. It did not conduct a recall.

More investigation found that “differences in wiper motor torque by vehicle line could contribute to differences in wiper arm performance.” A review found that Expedition, Navigator and 2020 model year F-150 vehicles incorporate a higher torque wiper motor, with a maximum torque of 72 Nm. Other vehicles (most 2021 model year F-150) use a different smart wiper motor that electronically limits the torque to 46 Nm.

“As of February 25, 2022, there were 257 reports of inoperative or detached windshield wiper arms on the 2020-2021 MY Expedition/Navigator vehicles, 380 on 2020-2022 MY Super Duty, 76 on 2020 MY F-150, and 41 reports on certain 2021 MY F-150 units that were built with an alternative higher torque wiper motor due to chip shortages. The first of these reports was received February 5, 2020. A field action was approved by Ford’s Field Review Committee on 7 April 2022,” Ford said.

Dealers will replace both front windshield wiper arms, free of charge as is required by US regulations. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 23, 2022.  Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 22S26. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.nhtsa.gov.

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