874,000 Ford F-Series pickup trucks recalled over fire risk

December 21, 2018

Ford on Friday announced that it will recall 874,000 full-size and heavy-duty pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada due to a defective engine block heater wiring assembly that could start a fire.

The recall covers 2015-2019 Ford F-150 pickups and 2017-2019 F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 Super Duty trucks. The automaker said that the risk of fire only occurs when the vehicles are turned off and the block heaters are plugged into electrical outlets. Ford said in a statement that a splice connector in the block heater cord allows moisture into the wiring, causing it to corrode. A corroded wire could trip circuits or cause a short. 

MORE: Read our 2019 Ford F-150 review

To rectify the situation, Ford has instructed its dealers to inspect the recalled block heater cords and either apply dielectric grease at the splice connector or replace corroded units with new ones. The recall will be performed at no cost to consumers. Ford did not announce when the recall will start.

Block heaters provide a steady flow of current to keep crucial underhood components warm, aid engine starting, and reduce wear in cold weather. Accordingly, about half of the recalled trucks were sold new in Canada, according to Ford. 

The automaker said in a statement that it is aware of three fires that started as a result of the faulty block heaters, one of which resulted in minor property damage. Ford said it is not aware of any injuries related to the corrosion-prone wiring.

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