Ford Recalls Almost 2,000,000 Trucks For Seat Belt Fire Hazard
Ford Motor Company said earlier this month that it would recall 2 million F-150 pickup trucks in North America because of fire concerns relating to seat belts. These concerns have been linked to three serious incidents of catastrophic fires, but no injuries.
The second-largest U.S. automaker said it was aware of 17 reports of smoke or fire in the United States and six in Canada relating to seat-belt pre-tensioners, but it was not aware of any accidents or injuries as a result. The mechanism of the seat belt pre-tensioner, which works in conjunction with the vehicle’s airbags, involves an explosive charge that locks a seat belt in place during a crash.
Some pre-tensioners in front seat belts could generate excessive sparks when deployed, possibly resulting in a fire, the company said.
Product Liability and Dangerous Manufacturing
The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary investigation in August into 1.6 million Ford trucks after five complaints of fires in the seat belt component. This includes three Ford vehicles that were apparently destroyed by fires. Owners should take action when they receive recall notices from Ford telling them about free repairs, the NHTSA said in a statement. The recall covers 2015-18 Ford F-150 Regular Cab and SuperCrew Cab vehicles in North America for driver and front passenger seat-belt pre-tensioners.
Steps to Resolve the Liability
To resolve the issue, dealers will remove some insulation material and remnants of wiring harness tape from the vehicle’s B pillar area. The B pillar is the vertical support behind a vehicle’s front seat windows. They will also apply heat-resistant tape to the carpet and its insulation. They will also modify the back interior panels of Regular Cab vehicles.
Transport Canada, the Canadian auto regulatory agency, contacted Ford in November of last year regarding a B-pillar-area fire in a 2015 Ford truck. That prompted a joint vehicle inspection by Ford and the agency, but the cause could not be determined.
The NHTSA reached out to Ford Motor Company earlier this year to ask about reports relating to the three fires before it opened its formal probe.
Ford said the components in the older 2015-2017 models were built by Takata, which was acquired by Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp., while ZF Friedrichshafen AG built the parts starting with the 2018 model year.
Fortunately, Ford is doing the right thing and they’re offering to correct the problem free of charge, so anyone who suspects that their truck may be included in the recall should visit a dealership right away before it’s too late and injuries resulting from a manufacturing defect affect you and your family.
California Personal Injury Lawyer
At Los Angeles Injury Group, we have witnessed countless injuries to consumers as a result of vehicle defects and have represented those victims in obtaining compensation to pay for their injuries and loss of earning capacity. If you think you may have been injured in an auto accident as a result of a vehicle defect, give us a call today at (310) 954-7248 and we will be happy to discuss your injuries and what the next steps should be to get the compensation you deserve.