- covers for the manual park release might be missing on 2020 explorer and lincoln aviator models.
- instrument panels may not work correctly, either.
- less than 14,000 cars are affected in the u.s., with most unsold.
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.
the bigger problem is that assembly workers may have left the instrument panel in "factory mode," which disables all warnings, chimes, alerts, and the current gear selection. that's a temporary mode that ford says it uses to "reduce battery drain during the production process" and should have been switched off before leaving the plant. whoops.
a total of 13,896 vehicles are affected, with most in dealer inventory, ford said. by law, dealers cannot sell any new car under recall until they complete the factory repairs. in this case, that involves resetting the instrument panel and snapping in a piece of plastic. as no filing yet exists on the national highway traffic safety administration database, there is no repair schedule at this time.