Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 900,000 F-Series pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada to repair engine block heaters that can catch fire.
The trucks affected by this recall include 2015-2019 models of the F-150 with engine block heaters built in Dearborn, Michigan from March 18, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2018 and in Kansas City, Missouri from Aug. 21, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2018.
The recall also covers 2017-2019 Super Duty F-250, Super Duty F-350, Super Duty F-450, and Super Duty F-550 pickup trucks with engine block heaters built at Ford’s Ohio and Kentucky plants.
According to recall documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, Ford says that “water and contaminants can intrude into the block heater cable’s splice connector causing corrosion and damage to the cable over time.” This can cause a short, increasing the risk of overheated wiring and a fire.
The defect may also render the block heater inoperable, Ford says in its description of the recall. The automaker estimates that the defect exists in 6 percent of the recalled vehicles.
The problem can only occur when the truck is parked and the block heater cable is plugged in.
Ford says that of the 874,000 F-Series pickups it’s recalling, 410,289 are registered in the U.S. and its territories. The remaining trucks are in Canada.
The automaker says it is aware of three fires stemming from the block heater defect. One of the reported incidents resulted in property damage but there were no accidents or injuries.
Ford will notify owners of the recall by mail. Dealerships will inspect and seal the block heater cable or replace it, if needed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin Jan. 7, 2019. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332.