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Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 14,000 of its 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles in the U.S. and Canada that are at risk of moving unintentionally due to potentially missing a federally required manual park-release cover.

The company said federal standards require the manual park release cover be firmly in place and only removable with a tool. 

"If the cover is not installed, the manual park release lever may be inadvertently activated, which could result in unintended vehicle movement if the electronic park brake is not applied, increasing the risk of crash," Ford said. 

Ford said the affected vehicles may also have instrument clusters that are in factory mode, which disables warning alerts and chimes, and does not display gear positions to let drivers know which gear is selected. 

"Factory mode is used to reduce battery drain during the production process," the company said. "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require the gear positions and selected gear to be displayed whenever the shifter is not in park."

Ford said it is aware of one report of an accident occurring during the transportation of a vehicle that was still within the production process. The company said the incident resulted in only vehicle damage.

Ford said its dealers will inspect for the manual park release cover for free and install one, if necessary. The company said its dealers will also verify the instrument cluster is out of factory mode and clear any diagnostic codes. 

klaing@detroitnews.com 

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