Sparks in Ford trucks may cause fire

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2017-2019 F-Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450 and SuperCrew Cab vehicles. The front seat pretensioner may spark in the event of a crash and ignite carpeting or insulation.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 490,574.

The Defect

According to an investigation by Ford, the front seat pretensioner may generate excessive sparks during a crash. In some cases, these sparks can interact with exhaust gas and cause the vehicle’s carpet or carpet insulation in the B-pillar area to catch on fire.The defect is unique to the 2017-2019 model year, as those vehicles were built with unique seat belt pretensioners. All vehicles assembled after October 29, 2019 were modified to prevent the issue.

So far there has been one report in the U.S. of a fire caused by the seat belt pretensioner. 

Timeline of Events

In September 2018, Ford did some testing on the B-pillar area of their Super Duty vehicles, after a similar issue was reported in the 2015-2018 F-150 model. At that time, Ford did not determine that the area was at risk of combustion. In October 2019, Ford received a report from NHTSA of a post-crash fire in the B-pillar area of a 2019 F-250 Crew Cab. Both Ford and NHTSA inspected the vehicle and Ford performed analysis on related parts. Ford also performed nearly 300 vehicle level tests, finding issues in a few cases. Further inspection found that variance in the profile of the carpet edge was a determinate on whether the carpet combusted. While the investigation was still ongoing, Ford began adding heat resistant foil tape to all 2019 model year vehicles.

On December 4, 2019 Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the situation and approved field action.

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail and told to take their vehicles to a certified Ford or Lincoln dealer for repairs. Dealers will apply heat resistant foil tape to the carpet and carpet insulation edges in affected vehicles and modify the sound deadener on the back of the B-pillar trim panel.

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning December 12, 2019, while owners will be notified from January 20, 2020 to January 24, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesSparks in Ford trucks may cause fire

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