Ford is issuing a big recall on its biggest selling model. Close to half a million pickups in Canada are being recalled because of an issue with wiring leading to the block heater cable that can cause a fire.
The automaker made the announcement earlier today. It affects 2015-2019 Ford F-150 pickups built in Dearborn between March 18, 2014 and Nov 17 2018, and at the Kansas City plant from August 21 2014, and November 17 2018. It also covers 2017-2019 model year Super Duty trucks, those are the F-250, 350, and F-450 models, built in Ohio from February 5 2016 to November 17 2018, and the Kentucky Truck Plant from October 5 2015 to November 17 2018.
That adds up to a total of approximately 874,000 trucks in North America. And this issue is disproportionately affecting Canadian trucks: 463,793 of them. Likely because Canadians are opting for block heaters at a higher rate.
Ford says that "water and contaminants can intrude into the block heater cable’s splice connector." If that happens, it corrodes and damages that cable. If the corrosion continues, it can cause a short circuit. If that happens, it can lead to a malfunction of the heater, trip a household circuit breaker or GFCI-equipped outlet. Or it can lead to a fire.
The company says it's aware of three fires originating from the block heater cable splice connector, though it did not say if the fires occurred in the US or Canada. Ford added that there is only a risk while the block heater is plugged into an outlet.
The fix is an inspection of the cable. If it's not damaged or corroded, dealers will apply dielectric grease to solve the issue. If there is damage or corrosion, the cable will be replaced. Ford will reach out to all affected owners notifying them of the issue and alerting them to contact a dealer for inspection and repair.