Fire Risk from Corrosion Prompts Ford Recall on Trucks

: Ford F-150 trucks are part of the corrosion-related recall. Image courtesy of Ford.

Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Michigan, USA) recently issued a recall on 874,000 F-series pickup trucks in North America due to a fire risk from corrosion in the engine block heater system.

According to the company, water and contaminants can intrude into the block heater cable’s splice connector, causing corrosion and damage to the cable over time. Prolonged corrosion in the cable splice connector can cause a short. This may make the engine block heater inoperable, and/or trip household breakers or ground fault circuit interrupter equipped outlets while the vehicle is parked and the block heater is plugged in. The risk only exists while the vehicle is parked and the block heater cable is plugged into an electrical outlet.

The automobile manufacturer says it is aware of three fires originating from the engine block heater cable splice connector, with minor property damage reported in one incident. The company adds that it is not aware of any related accidents or injuries.

Affected vehicles include 2015-19 F-150 vehicles built in Dearborn, Michigan, USA, between March 18, 2014, and November 17, 2018, and at an assembly plant in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, between August 21, 2014 and November 17, 2018. 

Other affected trucks are 2017-19 Super Duty vehicles built at an assembly factory in Avon Lake, Ohio, USA, between February 5, 2016 and November 17, 2018, and at a truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, between October 8, 2015 and November 17, 2018.

As part of the recall, dealers will inspect the engine block heater cable and replace it if it is damaged or corroded. If there are no signs of damage or corrosion, dealers will apply dielectric grease to the splice connector and reconnect. If a replacement cable is required but unavailable, the customer will receive an information sheet and will be notified via mail for a follow-up appointment once parts become available.

Of the ~874,000 vehicles affected by the recall in North America, 410,289 are in the United States and federal territories and another 463,793 are in Canada.

Source: Ford Motor Co.,