DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford is recalling 327,000 F-Series pickup trucks in North America for a second time to fix problems with engine block heater cables that can cause fires. In December the company recalled 874,000 trucks because water and contaminants can get into the cables and cause corrosion. That can cause electrical shorts and fires.
About 327,000 owners took trucks to dealers for the fix, but an inspection may have inadvertently damaged the cables. Now dealers will disable the cables for all recalled trucks by cutting the prongs that go into electrical outlets. All owners will get new cables when parts are available. Ford is working with parts suppliers to get the cables as soon as possible, spokeswoman Monique Brentley said, but the date for the new cables to become available is unknown.
"We are advising people not to use their engine block heater cable," Brentley said Wednesday. The recall covers F-150s from 2015 through 2019, as well as Super Duty trucks from 2017 through 2019. The fire risk only exists when the cables are plugged in.
Ford says it knows of one fire in the U.S. and two in Canada in trucks that could be related to the problem. Those trucks had the recall inspections done, the company said. Engine block heater cables are plugged into electrical outlets or extension cords to keep oil and anti-freeze warm in extremely cold temperatures. They are used largely in the northern U.S. and Canada.
Ford's F-Series trucks are the top-selling vehicles in the U.S.