In December 2018, Ford recalled more than 874,000 late-model pickup trucks across North America. Exactly 410,289 of those trucks were in the U.S., so truck owners in California should take notice. The recall covers Ford F-150 models from 2015 to 2019 as well as Super Duty and Chassis Cab models from 2017 to 2019.
The problem is with the engine-block heater allowing water and other contaminants to intrude into the splice connector. If the connector corrodes, then it could trip a circuit while plugged into a local electrical outlet. In some cases, it can spark, melt and cause an under-the-hood fire. Ford knows of at least three such fires, each on a 2017 model, that have occurred in Canada since September 2018.
Several factors are behind this issue. Ford had installed wiring too close to the ground in those areas without underbody shielding. In addition, female connectors were installed at such an angle as to increase the risk for fires.
Before Nov. 17, 2018, Ford neglected to lubricate the block heater connectors with dielectric grease, which is meant to insulate and block moisture. This is limited to gasoline models; Ford had been using the grease for diesel models since Oct. 24, 2017. Those who bring their trucks in will get either the grease or replacement cables if they are damaged.
Though no injuries have been attributed to these defective products, the personal injury laws in California make it possible for those hurt by such products to file a claim. There are three types of defects: design, manufacturing and marketing defects. It will likely take a lawyer and their network of professionals to build up a case against the manufacturer or marketer. Victims can begin by requesting a case evaluation and finding out how much they might be eligible for.