Seat belt fires spark recall of two million Ford F-150 vehicles

Enlarge / A 2016 Ford F-150 truck.


Ford is recalling two million of its common F-150 pickup vehicles after discovering {that a} seat belt part known as the pretensioner has the potential to start out a fireplace if the truck will get in an accident.

Ford says that it has obtained 17 stories of seatbelt-related smoke or hearth in F-150s within the United States and 6 extra in Canada. There have been no stories of accidents because of this.

What’s a seatbelt pretensioner? Modern automobiles and vehicles have sensors that may detect when a crash is underway and quickly deploy the car’s security options in a fraction of a second. In addition to deploying the airbags, a car can even set off seatbelt pretensioners that jerk the seatbelts a pair inches tighter, pulling passengers into their seats.

Some pretensioners are mechanical, however plenty of trendy items use small explosive fees to quickly tighten the belt. You can see a slow-motion video of an explosive pretensioner (not essentially a Ford one) being activated right here.

Seatbelt pretensioner in sluggish movement

It’s a outstanding little bit of engineering that most individuals by no means discover—however it helps maintain folks protected within the occasion of a crash.

Unfortunately, the pretensioners in sure Ford F-150 fashions produced since 2014—about two million in complete—are vulnerable to beginning a fireplace. Federal regulators opened an investigation into the problem final month after three Ford vehicles have been reported “totally destroyed” in seatbelt-related fires. Thankfully, nobody was severely injured in these incidents.

“Some front seat belt pretensioners can generate excessive sparks when they deploy,” Ford writes in right now’s press launch.

The pretensioner on the Ford F-150 is inside the B-pillar, the vertical a part of the physique that separates the car’s back and front doorways. When the pretensioner prompts, it exhausts gases inside the B-pillar, and sparks can ignite these gases. “Components behind the B-pillar such as insulation and carpet may subsequently catch fire,” Ford warns.

Ford is recalling vehicles constructed between 2014 and 2018 at crops in Kansas City and Dearborn, Michigan. Affected F-150 house owners can contact their native Ford sellers for repairs, which might be performed for gratis to clients.

Rather than changing the pretensioner itself, Ford’s plan is to take away doubtlessly flammable components from the B-pillars and add flame-resistant tape, thereby stopping sparks from beginning bigger fires.

Source link

Previous IMSA’s WeatherTech collection goes nice, however the place does it go subsequent?
Next Tesla inventory falls on government departures, Musk smoking weed