Ford Recalls Two Million F-150 Trucks Over Fire Risk
America’s auto industry has been dogged by safety issues and recalls over the last decade. In the latest episode, Ford has recalled about 2 million trucks over a seat belt defect that may cause fires.
The device in question is called a pretensioner. It uses an explosive charge to lock the vehicle’s seat belt in place. However, a problem with the device means it could generate excessive sparks and cause fires.
Ford’s recall covers 2015-2018 Ford F-150 SuperCrew Cab and Regular Cab vehicles across North America. The second largest car manufacturer in the United States has recalled about 1.62 million U.S. vehicles, 340,000 in Canada and 37,000 in Mexico.
There are no reports of injuries from the defect as yet. However, Reuters reported five fires are linked to the seat belt component. In all, three vehicles have been destroyed in fires. If your vehicle is affected by this recall, Ford will fix the problem for free.
Ford implemented the recall after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary investigation into the problem last month. You can find out if your car or truck is the subject of a recall on the NHTSA website.
There is some evidence that Ford may have known about this defect last year. Reuters reported Transport Canada, an auto regulatory agency in Canada, contacted the car manufacturer in November 2017 over a pillar area fire on a 2015 vehicle. That prompted a joint vehicle inspection by the agency and Ford. However, the cause could not be determined at the time.
As Virginia product liability lawyers we are concerned by any defect on a car that can cause a fire.
The website FordProblems.com suggests the F-150 truck has been the subject of more recalls than any other vehicle. It lists 133 recalls relating to the truck.
Other U.S. car manufacturers including General Motors and Chrysler have issued mass recalls in recent years.
In 2017, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.7 million Dodge Charger sedans, Chrysler 300s, Dodge Challenger coupes and, Dodge Durango SUVs, from the 2011-2014 model years, as well as 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
The recalls covered electro-hydraulic power steering. It targeted faulty alternators due to fire risks to fix wiring problems that could lead airbags to deploy unexpectedly.
A Fiat Chrysler recall in 2013 proved to be more serious. Millions of Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee models were recalled following warnings they could catch fire when rear-ended. The Jeeps had exposed plastic rear gas tanks that were a fire hazard. The defect was linked to a spate of deaths in fiery car crashes.
A defect on smaller General Motors vehicles was linked to more than 100 deaths and numerous injuries.
GM pointed out an ignition switch defect caused some cars to shut off while in operation by turning the ignition to the “off” or “accessories” position. Obviously, the sudden loss of power associated with this defect proved to be extremely dangerous in some cases. Another flaw allowed the ignition key to be removed in some cases while the vehicle was running.
GM recalled about 2.6 million older cars in 2014 with ignition switches that were at risk of slipping from the run position, stalling and disabling the air bags in crashes. GM later settled a criminal case and paid out billions of dollars in settlements and penalties for its poor handling of the defect that was linked to 124 deaths.
Call a Virginia Dangerous Automobile Attorney
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a defect on a car, truck, or motorcycle, you may have grounds to sue a manufacturer or the maker of a part such as a tire. Please call our Virginia defective and dangerous products lawyers for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.