Ford Motor Company is recalling over 2 million F-150 pick-up trucks manufactured between 2015 and 2018 due to potential post-crash fires. According to documents provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford has determined that a defect exists that may allow combustible materials located near the front seatbelt pretensioners to ignite during a crash.
Located at the base of the left and right B pillars, the F-150 seatbelt pretensioners contain pyrotechnic devices that deploy during the earliest stages of certain frontal collisions and rollover events. Their purpose is to remove slack within the seatbelt, drawing it tight against an occupant’s body to help minimize forward movement as the crash develops. This deployment, according to Ford’s investigation, may generate sparks that can ignite nearby combustible materials such as insulation and wiring harness tape.
This recall came after an internal investigation of field reports of localized, post-crash smoke and fires within the B pillar area. Although initially unable to identify the root cause, Ford and NHTSA collaborated to recreate the condition, observing the interaction between the deployment sparks and associated gasses with the surrounding combustible materials. Ford intends to remedy this condition by relocating some of these combustibles and applying heat-resistant material to others. Owner notification is expected to begin later this month. For inquiries relating to a specific vehicle concern on this, or any other NHTSA recall, visit our website at www.forensicdjs.com.