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20Navigator

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  1. This is a follow-up post to identify the locations mice, mouse, or other smaller rodents can enter the cabin air filter on a 2021 Navigator. For more background on this mouse issue please refer to the following posting: As a summary, within weeks of taking delivery this spring of our 2021 Reserve L Navigator inside it developed what I would describe as a “wet towel” smell. Within in a day this odor turned into a nauseating smell of death. The source seemed to be coming from the ventilation system so my inclination was to pull the cabin air filter. Oh my, has anyone ever tried access/change their cabin air filter in a Navigator? I can't imagine why, but it requires the removal of the glove box (6-screws) and two adjacent panels, one on each side of the glove box which don't seem to be designed for routine removal as they utilize these flimsy plastic posts/clips. Then, there is an additional black plastic panel directly behind the glove box which needs to be removed (really, why another panel?), again it utilizes hardware which seems flimsy for something that should be accessed every year or so, very disappointing for a $100,000+ vehicle. Once I was able to pull the cabin air filter, sure enough, I found 5-dead baby mice. I thought, wow I'm sure glad I found them before they rotted anymore, and fortunately, the nest did not penetrate through the filter, it was on top (the inlet or up stream side). Directly below the filter is the blower fan. I then began to wonder how could a mouse gain access to the cabin air filter. Clearly, this being a luxury vehicle, the “flagship” of the Lincoln brand, there must have been some consideration given to manage/control the intake air to the cabin which we are all breathing! With the cabin filter removed, I then shined a flashlight above its location and I was able to prop it there. I then opened the hood of our Navigator only to be hit directly in the eye by the beam of the flashlight as I looked towards the firewall on the passenger side saying to myself that seems like a big hole/gap. I'll admit the picture below is not the best but you get the idea of where the light coming through the firewall on passenger side, if you are a Navigator owner, open your hood and look in this location, you'll see the holes/gaps which lead right to the cabin air filter: In doing some research I've found that a mouse can fit through a hole or a crack the size of a No. 2 pencil. The openings on our Navigator's firewall that the light is shining through are large enough for a mouse to fit through. These same holes (the style of seams/flanges) are mirrored on the driver's so you will want to seal them as well. Additionally, there is a fabric type of insulation on the firewall, filaments of this black colored insulation were also present in the nest indicating the mouse had access to the engine bay area and back to the cabin air filter to build its nest. Again, being a $100,000+ vehicle this was very disappointing. Why were some precautions not designed and implemented for preventing this type of intrusion? I've heard of mice chewing wires in a engine bay, and can only envision how difficult to defend against that damage would be. But come on, this is the air we are all breathing! This air is being strictly controlled to be either heated or cooled, be recirculated or allowed to come from the outside. Is it too much to ask that some consideration be given to prevent a mouse from getting into the cabin air filter? My first thought was to use silicone caulking to seal these holes but there is just no easy way to get a caulking gun into these areas, again during assembly this would have taken seconds to seal. I then decided to use butyl tape as its easy to mold into areas and stay's pretty sticky figuring if mice want to chew it they are going to get pretty gummed up. Picture of butyl tape over holes on passenger side, these same holes exist on the driver's side: Unfortunately the death smell didn't go away even after I had removed the dead babies from the cabin air filter. The mother had apparently fell through the side of the filter as it is only ridged on two opposing sides. The adjacent sides of the filter are pretty flimsy and she must have slipped by on one of those. The Navigator's air filter is not ridged on all sides like your typical home forced air furnace filter. Once the mother fell into the blower area she could not get back above the filter to her babies and proceeded to chew through the venting below the fan gaining access to the inside of the Navigator. Picture of chewed plastic interior intake for re-circulation of air to blower: From the inside of the Navigator she was able to crawl back through a duct somehow getting herself on the downstream side of the heater core and became stuck in the driver's blend damper where she died. Picture of mouse parts in blend damper: In the end the dealership had to remove the entire dash assembly, both front seats, center console and the front carpeting to find the source of the smell. Picture of gutted Navigator's interior: This when they were finally able to find the remaining pieces of the mother mouse. The dealership replaced all the ventilation duct work, blower fan, blend dampers, heater core, evaporator core etc. In summary, if I was a Navigator owner I would take some time/effort to seal the openings in the firewall that I have shown to prevent the nightmare we have experienced. We lost the use of our vehicle for 3 months; got the senseless run around from the Lincoln Concierge as they only provided another layer of frustration with this incident and incurred a claim against our automobile insurance.
  2. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    I've actually been through 29 Palms near Joshua Tree National Park. Oh my, yes very arid out there. I would guess anything would become like freeze dried food in less than a week!
  3. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    This is a great suggestion, thanks! Unfortunately we don't, but maybe the restoration company does.
  4. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    Thanks for everyone's replies, we are moving on. The only issue remaining is to remove the strong chemical odor from the initial numerous attempts over a 5-week period to neutralize the smell of death before the mother mouse was found. This type of chemical remediation was a recommendation from the Concierge based upon their conversation with Lincoln Engineers. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best course of action, removal of any remaining carcasses should have been first. After the dealership replaced all the ventilation components (bower fan, duct work, dampers, heater core, evaporator core, etc.,.....) and reassembled the interior they sent it offsite to their 3rd party detailer to try and remove the chemical odor but were unsuccessful. We have had our Navigator's back for about a week now and it still smells like a Dupont chemical factory, much better than the smell of death, but still nauseating. Our insurance adjuster has made a recommendation for another company to attempt to remove the chemical odor which it will be going to shortly.
  5. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    I totally agree, I'm sure the Lincoln/Ford assembly plant has some type of rodent pest control plan in place where either internally or contracted through an outside vendor, bait stations are strategically placed along with sticky traps and are routinely monitored and maintained. It most likely did not occur at the factory, but at some location where the vehicle sat outside for an extend period of time. I have only seen pictures with no factual substantiation of thousands of vehicles being stored at the Kentucky Motor Speed Way. Are they from the Kentucky manufacturing facility where our Navigator was assembled, I do not know? However, seeing how they are stored, sitting for weeks on end, some on gravel lots, some in the grass, considering our Navigator was built in February, a time when rodents are looking for shelter, it certainly makes me wonder....was our Navigator there, sitting for weeks/months? Additionally, when you look at the developmental stage of the dead baby mice that I pulled from the cabin air filter I have to suspect the mother was in the Navigator before our dealer took possession of it.
  6. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    Hi BBF2530, Our dealer did actually drive it 3 miles to do their predelivery inspection so when we actually drove it off the lot it had 29 miles on it. I'm fairly certain the concierge has the access to the data of the build, they just didn't want to share. At no time did we ever yell at them either, but seeing how we were treated I'm sure some have used that tactic. This was our first purchase of a luxury vehicle now that we are retired. Prior vehicles had never cost more than the $30K range. I'd have to say my experience with a foreign brand was the best customer service I've experienced. That vehicle did have a number of issues, all which were handled under warranty with a loaner of equal or better value. For the Navigator to be the "flagship" of the Lincoln brand we are certainly not impressed with the customer service provided by the concierge. As I mentioned I'll start another post in an effort to give other Navigator owners a heads-up about some possible locations on the firewall they may want to seal. We are tying to keep a positive attitude about our Navigator.
  7. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    I'll admit, I could have started off differently but I was curious, if anyone, without too much prompting could determine where it sat, as I didn't want to bias them. It is also true that it will never be determined where the Navigator was when the mouse entered. However, we have lived at our current residence for 10+ years and never had a mouse problem with any of other vehicles so its difficult to understand why a new vehicle would be the one with a mouse issue. One vehicle in particular has been here for the entire 10+ years and sometimes goes a week or more without being driven. I'll probably start another post to help educate other Navigator owners where I'll describe how I believe the mouse got inside. Being a $100,000 vehicle I'm amazed at some of the openings that a mouse could get in through the firewall and into the cabin air filter. Additionally, we were amazed at how we were treated by the Lincoln Concierge. For this situation, they only provided another layer of frustration.
  8. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    Well there is a little more to the story. A few weeks after we took delivery we noticed what seemed like a musty wet towel odor inside. I could provide more details but I ended up finding 5 dead baby mice in the cabin air filter. After their removal the smell would still not go away so off to our dealer the Navigator went. Many calls back and fourth to the Lincoln Concierge over a 5-week period resulted in a sorry, sucks to be you, we can't help you!! The case was then turned over to our insurance which resulted in the entire front interior (dash, both front seats, console, carpeting.....) there was noting remaining except the firewall to be able to see the engine. The result of the entire front interior being removed was that parts of a mouse, probably the mother, were found stuck in the drivers blend door of the ventilation system. This repair took 6-weeks. So the question which we have never been able to get answer to is, if the vehicle only took a day or two to build on the assembly line where did it sit from when it was assembled (2/20/21 to 5/19/21) almost 3-months, until is was delivered to the dealership? As its my understanding that one of the biggest attractions for a mouse is a vehicle that is not frequently driven.
  9. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    I guess the idea that our Navigator was taken for a "Quality Test Drive" is a possibility, however wouldn't you think the Quality Group would somehow identify this action to the customer such as a sticker indicating an additional level of review was performed on our vehicle? Also, if this was the case I just find it odd that our dealer had no idea why it had the mileage on it.
  10. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    A few questions the dealer was also not able to provide answers to were: 1) Why was there 26 miles on the odometer when the factory ordered Navigator was delivered to them? I found this strange as I have bought 4 other vehicles that were new and none ever had more than 3 miles on their odometer when I drove them off the lot. Why did our factory ordered Navigator have 26 miles on it? 2) Why were there components like exhaust hanger brackets, axle drive shafts and the flange of the main drive shaft rusted? Even some of the running board brackets had a small amount of rust in areas where the paint was chipped. Now these are items which are not painted and granted over time (maybe 4-6 months or after a winter in the Northeast) you would expect to see rust, but this was a brand new vehicle. Why would it have rust like it sat in a field for a few months?
  11. 20Navigator

    Where Was Our 2021 Navigator?

    The Lincoln Concierge wasn't able to tell us and we were hoping someone had the tools to confirm for sure.
  12. On January 4, 2021 my wife and I factory ordered a 2021 Navigator. Using the “fordtracker.tech” Website it indicates our Navigator's Production Date as February 20, 2021. Its my understanding today it only takes a day or two to build a vehicle on the assembly line. Our dealer received our Navigator on May 19, 2021. Is anyone able to confirm where our Navigator was located between its production date of 2/20/21 and 5/19/21?
  13. 20Navigator

    2021 Reserve L Navigator

    Its moving !!! Thanks so much.
  14. Congratulations!!!, you probably now have the most recently built Navigator!
  15. 20Navigator

    2021 Reserve L Navigator

    Hi Cyberdman, Could you check once again to see if the status has changed on VIN? 5LMJJ3LT0MEL04357 Thanks so much!
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