The recall affects Ford’s crown jewel F-series pickup line, which is currently the best selling vehicle model in the U.S.
Ford announced the recall following at least 5 reports of vehicle fire associated with the seat belt issue, including 3 that engulfed the vehicle and destroyed it, NHTSA said.
The automakers said it was aware of at least 23 “reports of smoke or fire” but no injuries or accidents connected to the defect.
The recall affects F-150 pickups from model years 2015-2018, which were manufactured from March 12, 2014 through Aug. 23, 2018, in Dearborn, Mich., and from Aug. 20, 2014, through Aug. 23, 2018, in Kansas City.
Ford said the potential defect involves front seat belt pretensioners that “can generate excessive sparks when they deploy.”
“When sufficient sparks are present, gases exhausted inside the lower portion of the B-pillar by the pretensioners may ignite,” the company said in a statement. “If this gas ignites, components behind the B-pillar such as insulation and carpet may subsequently catch fire.”
The recall is expected to cost Ford about $140 million, according to a public filing. The company has agreed to repair all affected trucks for free.
Source: USA Today