Ford recalls 2 million F-150 pickups over seat belt fire concerns

Ford is recalling approximately 2 million F-150 pickup trucks in North America over concerns that seat belt pretensioners could ignite fires.

The company said there have been 17 reports of smoke or fire in the U.S. and six in Canada, though it is not aware of any accidents or injuries as a result of the condition. More than 1.6 million vehicles in the U.S. – including territories – and nearly 340,000 in Canada and approximately 36,800 in Mexico that are related to the concern.

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An investigation by Ford found that some front seat belt pretensioners, devices that tighten the belt in the event of a crash, can generate excessive sparks when they deploy. Much like an airbag, the pretensioners are activated by a small explosion. The automaker said the fires started in the B-pillars – the vertical roof support located between the front and rear doors.

Affected vehicles include 2015-2018 Ford F-150 Regular Cab and SuperCrew Cabs built at its Dearborn Assembly Plant on March 12, 2014 through Aug. 23, 2018, and at its Kansas City Assembly Plant on Aug. 20, 2014 through Aug. 23, 2018.

The car maker said dealers will remove insulation material from the B-pillar trim, remove remnants of wiring harness tape in the B-pillar area and apply heat-resistant tape to the carpet and its insulation, in addition to modifying the back interior panels of Regular Cab pickups. All repairs are free of charge to customers.