Ford Motor Company is recalling nearly two million Ford F-150 pickup trucks because of the potential for smoke and fire from front seat belt pretensioners. According to a Ford press release announcing the recall, the carmaker found that some front seat belt pretensioners can generate excessive sparks when they deploy. It’s possible that with enough sparks, gases exhausted inside the lower portion of the B-pillar, where the belts are anchored, may ignite. Such an ignition could cause materials in the truck, such as insulation and carpet, to catch fire.
To date, there have been 17 reports of such smoke or fire in the United States and six in Canada. None, says Ford, have caused any accidents or injuries.
The affected vehicles include 2015–2018 Ford F-150 trucks built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant between March 12, 2014 and August 23,2018, and 2015–2018 Ford F-150 trucks built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant between August 20, 2014 and August 23, 2018.
Roughly 1.62 million of the affected trucks are registered in the U.S., 340,000 in Canada and the remainder in Mexico.
Ford is urging owners of the affected trucks to immediately respond to recall notices and contact their local Ford dealer to arrange for the no-cost repair. The fix will primarily involve reworking the wiring of the harness located in the B-pillar and replacing the old wiring harness tape with heat-resistant tape.
To check if your F-150 is involved in the recall prior to receiving a recall notice, type www.safecar.gov into your Internet browser, click on Recalls & Investigations and follow the directions. You will need your vehicle’s VIN number, which is on the little metal plate found at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side.
This latest recall follows an April recall of some 2018 Ford F-50 pickups with 10-speed transmissions for issues with the gear-shift cable clip. That recall affected 347,000 F-150 trucks and Expedition SUVs.