Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Ford recalls 2 million F-150 pickups over seat belt issue

Ford recalls 2 million F-150 pickups over seat belt issue

About 2 million Ford F-150 pickup trucks are being recalled due to an odd problem with seat-belt equipment.

According to Transport Canada, seat belt pretensioners in affected trucks can create sparks when they tighten before a crash. This, in turn, could cause the carpeting and insulation behind the B-pillar to catch on fire.

According to the automaker, they have had 23 reports in Canada and the US of smoke or fires in their F-150s. No injuries have been reported.

The recall covers trucks from 2015 to 2018.

The total recall involves 1,995,776 vehicles in North America, with 1,619,112 in the United States, 339,884 in Canada and 36,780 in Mexico. "The F-150 seat belt and the pretensioner system had already performed correctly and protected the occupant", says Emily Thomas, Ph.D., automotive safety engineer at Consumer Reports.

"Ford F-150 SuperCrew and Regular Cab owners should watch for recall notifications from Ford Motor Co. and take action when it's time to get the free fix", the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last month that it was investigating five reports of fires related to the pretensioners, Reuters noted.

In one recent complaint with NHTSA, according to The Associated Press, a auto owner says a deer ran into their vehicle, which deployed the airbag.

The reference number for this recall is 18S27.

As part of the recall, dealers will remove insulation from the B-pillar and apply heat-resistant tape to the carpet and its insulation.

Pretensioners use explosive charges to hold seat belts in place during a vehicle crash. The company said the device may generate excessive sparks. The trucks also compromise Ford's most profitable product line, according to company data. When sufficient sparks are present, gases exhausted inside lower portion of the B-pillar by the pretensioners may ignite.

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