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Ford to Recall Nearly 35,000 Lincoln Aviators to Fix a Problem With the Rear View Camera, it's the 9th Recall Involving the Luxury SUV

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【Summary】Ford Motor Company announced Friday that it’s issuing a safety compliance recall related to the rearview camera on select 2020-21 Lincoln Aviator vehicles. The problem is related to the image processing module in the luxury SUV that supports the rear backup camera. It's the ninth recall involving the Lincoln Aviator since its launch in 2019.

Eric Walz    Apr 02, 2021 11:55 AM PT
Ford to Recall Nearly 35,000 Lincoln Aviators to Fix a Problem With the Rear View Camera, it's the 9th Recall Involving the Luxury SUV
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator

Ford Motor Company announced Friday that it's issuing a safety compliance recall related to the rearview camera on select 2020-21 Lincoln Aviator vehicles. 

The problem is related to the image processing module in the luxury SUV that supports the rear backup camera. Ford said the module may be intermittently unable to provide a video feed to the display screen when the vehicle is in reverse. 

In March 2014, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it would require that all vehicles built after May 2018 in the United States to include backup cameras.

Since rear backup cameras are required in all vehicles, the Lincoln Aviators affected do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, requiring corrective action by the manufacturer.

Ford is not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this condition.

The recall affects 34,975 vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories, 3,053 in Canada and 379 in Mexico. Affected vehicles were built at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant between Oct 2018 through Dec 7, 2020.

Ford will begin notifying dealers beginning May 14, with customer notifications will start May 19. 

The camera module itself in the affected vehicles is not faulty. Ford said that dealers will update the image processing module software to correct the issue.

The Launch of the Aviator was rocky from the start for Ford. Customers started reporting problems with 2020 model year vehicles as soon as they left dealerships. The problems ranged from the parking brake unexpectedly applying while driving to digital dashboard screens that scrambled information.

"Many of the issues appear to be linked to software, which "now controls more and more of the systems on today's vehicles," Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, told the Detroit Free Press in Oct 2019 after testing the Aviator. "Manufacturers can't rely on consumers to find these bugs as some can compromise safety."

Fisher experienced the dashboard issues firsthand while testing the Aviator back in 2019.

"When you get in, the speedometer and tachometer kind of goes berserk," Fisher told the Detroit Free Press. "While driving, all of a sudden the digital gauge cluster seems to be having huge problems. For the first couple of miles, it's hard to see what you're doing."

The Lincoln Aviator Has 8 Prior Recalls

In total, the NHTSA has 8 recalls on file for the Lincoln Aviator, and its mechanical twin the Ford Explorer. Production of the Lincoln Aviator began on May 6, 2019. The luxury SUV debuted as a 2020 model.

In Dec 2019, Ford recalled some 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs for plastic fuel lines that can chafe together and cause a fuel leak. The fix was to install a protective cover on the lines to prevent chafing.

In Aug 2020, Ford recalled some Lincoln Aviators for the side air bag which may not have been properly tightened in the front seat backs.

In Nov 2020, Ford recalled 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs manufactured between Aug. 24 and Sept. 30, 2019 for a faulty driveshaft that could fracture along a weld seam. The fracture would result in a lost connection to the rear axle and the driveshaft itself could come in contact with the fuel tank, posing a safety risk.

A month later, Ford issued another recall for the right hand motor mount bolts, which may have been incorrectly tightened and could loosen over time.

The latest recall involving the Lincoln Aviator was last month. On March 10, Ford announced a recall of some 2020 Lincoln Aviator and Ford Explorer vehicles for rear lower control arm bolts that may not have been heat-treated properly, which could cause them to break.

Despite the problems with the Aviator, it remains a popular model for Ford. Last year, Lincoln retail SUV sales increased 5.3%, making 2020 Lincoln's best retail SUV sales performance in 17 years, Ford wrote in its 2020 Q4 sales report.


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