If you’re one of the millions of Ford truck fans in this country, you need to know about the latest Ford vehicle recall. Ford Motor Co. has just recalled approximately two million Ford F-150 pick-up trucks due to concerns related to a dangerous seat belt issue.
Front-seat pretensioners on seat belts use explosive charges to hold seat belts in place during a crash, and some of these on certain Ford trucks have created excessive sparks, which then caused smoke and/or fire. While Ford has received 23 reports from the United States and Canada of front-seat pretensioners causing smoke or fire, no injuries have been reported at the time of this writing.
How Seat Belt Pretension Works
You’re not alone if you’re not familiar with what a seat belt pretensioner does, exactly. According to howstuffworks.com, the seat belt pretensioner uses an explosive charge to drive a hidden piston when the abrupt deceleration in an accident is detected by senors. The piston, working with the spool where the seatbelt fabric is wrapped, then quickly causes retraction of the seat belt fabric and removes that “slack” we feel in our seat belt while we’re driving.
The extra “seatbelt ‘pre’-tension, moments prior to the full force of impact, pulls the bodies of the driver and front-seat passenger firmly into their seats” and allows them to receive the maximum benefit from front-seat airbags. Simply put, it is part of the mechanism that keeps us secure behind the seat belt in a collision.
A seatbelt pretensioner also serves to prevent an odd car crash phenomenon known as “submarining”—at the moment of impact in a crash, without seatbelt pretensioners, people’s bodies are jerked so violently that the victims would go under their lap belts and be forced into the dash of the vehicle, most likely resulting in grave injuries or death.
Ford Trucks Recalled
Ford Motor Co. has recalled these models:
- 2015-2018 F-150 Regular Cab Pick-up Truck
- 2015-2018 F-150 SuperCrew Cab Pick-up Truck
To eliminate the risk of excessive sparks causing fire, Ford will remove some insulation and wire harness tape from the recalled truck’s B pillar areas, which are the vertical supports behind these models’ front-seat windows. The company will also add heat-resistant tape to the carpet and B pillar insulation. Ford will also modify the back interior panels of F-150 Regular Cab trucks.
The Ford F-150 just got a major update on its 40th birthday. According to motortrend.com, “Not only is the Ford F-Series the number one selling truck for four decades, it’s also the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 35 years.”
If you drive a Ford F-150, you will need to take it to your nearest Ford dealer immediately. If your vehicle is included in the recall, you will be contacted by Ford Motor Co., but why wait? Driving one of the defective vehicles could result in serious injury or death, so get your truck fixed as soon as possible to avoid injury from this faulty vehicle part.