Ford has expanded the recall of its 2021 full-size SUVs for an increased engine fire risk, and recommended owners park their vehicles outside and away from structures, the automaker announced Friday.
At least 21 instances of under-hood fires have been reported by owners of those vehicles, with 18 of them coming from rental companies. The SUVs could catch fire while driving or even after the vehicle is parked and the engine is off. Ford said there were no crashes related to the issue, but there has been one reported injury.
Chevrolet recently had similar guidance to owners of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV electric hatchbacks for batteries that could catch fire. That fire risk has been remedied, but Bolt EVs are still hard to come by.
In the Expedition and Navigator, a circuit board located in the battery junction box could experience an electrical short, and cause the box to melt or catch fire. The recall expanded to include vehicles produced from July 27, 2020 to August 31, 2021. Ford suspects the problem arose from a change in supplier manufacturing location for the circuit boards.
Dealers will inspect and repair the vehicles at no charge to owners. The service center will check for damage to the battery junction box, then replace the part. In vehicles with an 800-watt cooling fan, likely in the higher output versions of the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 equipped on Platinum grades, the service center will remove the engine fan ground wire from the box.
In the remaining majority of vehicles with a 700-watt cooling fan, Ford will perform the same fix but add an auxiliary box and a wire jumper. Those parts won't be available until September, however, whereas the models with the 800-watt cooling fan can get fixed now.
Ford alerted customers via its app on Friday, with notification by mail expected to follow. For more info, contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 or visit Ford's recall site.