Why isn’t my Ford Explorer covered by a recall?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader who believes his SUV repair should be covered by a recall.

FILE- This Feb. 15, 2018, file photo shows a Ford logo on the grill of a 2018 Ford Explorer on display at the Pittsburgh Auto Show. Ford, with a sagging U.S. market share and one of the oldest vehicle lineups in the industry, is promising to revamp three-quarters of its models in the next two years. The move was detailed at a presentation on Thursday, March 15, at Ford's product development center in Dearborn, Mich. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
This file photo shows a Ford logo on the grill of a 2018 Ford Explorer on display at the Pittsburgh Auto Show. –The Associated Press

Q. I own a 2013 Ford Explorer XLT, which I bought new. It recently lost the power steering, so I took it into my local repair shop. They told me that it seems like the electric power steering module has failed. I know there was a recall involving this issue on 2011 to 2013 Explorers, but when I called both the dealership where I bought the car and Ford, each told me that my car wasn’t covered. This doesn’t make sense to me. Why are some 2013 Ford Explorers covered but mine is not? Do you have any suggestions on how I might proceed? The local repair shop told me that it would cost about $1,800 or so to fix. 


A. The Ford Explorers covered under the recall you mentioned were manufactured from “Job One” in 2011 through February 28, 2012, and only include vehicles assembled in the Chicago plant. Since your vehicle has the same failure, it sounds as if the problem may be more widespread than Ford originally listed. Since you can’t drive the vehicle without power steering, it will need to be repaired. If this were my vehicle, I would have the work performed and save all of the receipts. The current campaign has a provision for reimbursement for customers who paid to have the repairs performed. Hopefully any future campaigns will as well.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.