Complaints of windshield parts flying off of Ford Explorers prompt government investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into complaints of Ford Explorer windshield trim panels detaching and flying off cars "while driving at highway speeds."

The agency has received 164 such complaints for 2011 through 2019 Ford Explorers, according to a document published by NHTSA.

The investigation covers an estimated 1.86 million cars.

Consequences of the alleged defect include a detached panel hitting another vehicle's windshield, or even a driver, the agency said.

"Some of the complaints reported that the driver of the vehicle following behind the subject Ford vehicle allegedly was startled when the trim piece hit the windshield and momentarily lost control of the vehicle," NHTSA's summary of the investigation read.

According to the NHTSA document, no crashes, injuries or fatalities have been reported to the ODI yet. The investigation was opened on Friday.

Last week: Ford recalls more than 382,000 Explorers, Lincoln SUVs over faulty back-up camera

Is your car recalled?: Ford Explorers, Hyundai SUVs and Subarus among nearly 400,000 vehicles recalled this week

"We’ve received notice from NHTSA and we plan to work with them as we always do," Ford said in a statement sent to USA TODAY on Tuesday.

This investigation could lead to a recall, but there hasn't been a recall linked to this alleged defect yet.

Still, Ford customers are facing recalls for other vehicles. For example, Ford is recalling 382,759 of its Explorers (2020-2023), Lincoln Aviators (2020-2023) and Corsair SUVs (2020-2022) because a faulty processor in the back-up camera system causes the video monitor to go blue.

Only models with the 360-degree camera are affected by these recalls, Ford said. Vehicles with the rear view-only camera are not under recall.

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Contributing: Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY. The Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Windshield parts detaching from Ford Explorer reports prompt NHTSA