American carmaker Ford Motor Company has announced they are recalling approximately 900,000 F-150 and Super Duty trucks in the North American market. The recall is intended to address an issue with an engine block heater cable that poses a higher fire risk.
This heater cable is used by truck owners to warm the engine for a more efficient start, particularly in cold weather. This seemingly innocuous cable is simply a cord hanging from the vehicle and is usually attached to an extension cord-type cable that is plugged into an outlet in a garage or a home.
In the recall, Ford advises that water and contaminants can seep into the cable’s splice connector. While this is not necessarily inherently a problem, over time it can cause corrosion and will damage the cable over time. This can cause the connector to short out and that will make the heater inoperable and it could also result in tripping breakers or outlets (in the garage or home) while the vehicle is parked with the heating unit plugged in.
In a statement, Ford asserts “The risk of safety only exists while the vehicle is parked and the block heater cable is plugged into an electrical outlet.”
So far, Ford has received report of three such fires in relation to issues with the cable splice connector. Fortunately, the automobile company is unaware of any severe complications like accidents or injuries resulting from these fires, though one incident has resulted in some minor damage.
Overall, the recall includes more than 410,000 vehicles sold in the United States and another 464,000 vehicles sold in Canada. Ford says these are the models that have been affected:
2015 to 2019 Ford F-150 truck models built at the Dearborn, Michigan truck plant between March 18, 2014 and November 17, 2018
2015 to 2019 Ford F-150 truck models built at the Kansas City truck plant between August 21, 2014 and November 17, 2018
2017 to 2019 Ford Super Duty vehicles built at the Ohio Assembly plant between February 5, 2016 and November 17, 2018
2017 to 2019 Ford Super Duty vehicles built at the Kentucky truck plant between October 8, 2015 and November 17, 2018