Ford Recalls Over 50,000 Electric and Hybrid Models Due to Faulty Charging Cords


Ford is issuing a recall for approximately 50,000 120-volt convenience charge cords originally provided with select 2012-15 Ford Focus Electric, 2013-15 Ford Fusion Energi and 2013-15 Ford CMAX Energi vehicles.

According to the FORD Media Center, affected vehicles include: 2012-15 Ford Focus Electric vehicles built at Michigan Assembly Plant, Sept. 15, 2011 through March 14, 2015 2013-15 Ford Fusion Energi vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, Sept. 4, 2012 through March 5, 2015 2013-15 Ford C-MAX Energi vehicles built at Michigan Assembly Plant, April 13, 2012 through March 14, 2015.
There are approximately 50,524 vehicles in North America with accompanying charge cords relating to this concern, with 49,197 vehicles in the United States and its federalized territories and 1,327 in Canada.

The Defect

The 120V convenience charge cord originally provided with the affected vehicles, when used in combination with a home AC outlet that is not on a dedicated circuit or is damaged, worn or corroded, could become susceptible to increased contact resistance at the convenience charge cord plug and home AC outlet interface.

Timeline of Events

According to the NHTSA Safety Recall Report, in December 2013 and May 2017, Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) opened investigations on 120V convenience charge cord allegations of heat damage. However,m neither investigation was able to identify a manufacturing or quality defect. Subsequent to the CCRG investigation Ford inspected four fires alleged to involve C-Max vehicles, and although the exact cause of the fires was not determined, it was noted that in three of the four fires, extension cords between the wall outlet and convenience charge cords were identified.

In June 2018, in response to an NHTSA request,  Ford reviewed additional information and subsequently completed an additional comprehensive data review and analysis of vehicles that use the same or similar 120V Convenience charge cords.  An elevated rate of melting/ fire reports on 120V Convenience charge cords designed without a thermistor led to an equipment recall, which was upgraded to a vehicle recall in September 2018.

Ford is aware of some fire reports, and has identified an elevated rate of allegations of melting and fire involving the 120V convenience charge cord that did not include a thermistor. Ford’s investigation revealed that an increased resistance at the plug/outlet interface was resulting in some cases in increased temperature and could potentially lead to a fire. Incomplete or slow charge cycles, or inability to charge have been identified as early indicators, as well as visible melting damage of the area surrounding the charge cord plug and/or odor.

The Solution

Owners will be notified by mail and reminded of the requirements for adequate wall outlets, and that extension cords should not be used under any circumstance to charge their vehicles. They will be instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford dealer to have the factory-equipped 120-volt convenience charge cord replaced with the latest version of the 120-volt convenience cord that includes a thermistor, free of charge. The thermistor can identify over-temperature conditions at the plug/outlet interface and will discontinue charging until the temperature decreases to an appropriate level.

The Ford reference number for this recall is 18S24. Notification to dealers occurred in August 2018. Mailing of owner notification letters occurred in September 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

Sean ReyesFord Recalls Over 50,000 Electric and Hybrid Models Due to Faulty Charging Cords