Ford recalling over 400,000 pickup trucks due to fire risk

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Ford is recalling 874,000 pickup trucks across North America after discovering an issue with engine block heaters that could cause fires.

The recall impacts trucks equipped with an engine block heater as Ford says "Water and contaminants can intrude into the block heater cable's splice connector causing corrosion and damage to the cable over time". If this connector corrodes, it may trip a circuit when plugged into a local electrical outlet.

2017-19 Super Duty vehicles built at Ford's OH assembly plant between February 5, 2016, and November 17, 2018, and at its Kentucky truck plant between October 8, 2015, and November 17, 2018.

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2015-2019 F-150 and 2017-2019 F-Series Super Duty models with block heaters are affected, and the parts will either be repaired or replaced.

Ford said it is aware of three fires due to the defect, with one incident leading to minor damage. Ford says the safety risk is only present when the vehicle is parked and the block heater cable is plugged in, so those truly anxious about the block heater should avoid plugging it in. Dealers will also apply dielectric grease to the splice connector on trucks that don't appear to have any damage or corrosion. It said it is not aware of any fires in the US or any injuries related to the problem. Accordingly, about half of the recalled trucks were sold new in Canada, according to Ford.

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