Ford shares drop as it recalls 2 million pickup trucks on fire safety concerns

Written by: Ilona Billington
September 7, 2018

Ford shares fell Thursday, as the US car maker issued a recall for some 2 million vehicles amid fire safety concerns. The company is recalling some 2015-18 Ford F-150 Regular Cab and SuperCrew Cab vehicles in North America to adjust front driver and passenger seat belt pretensioners.

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Ford shares ended the US Thursday session 0.63% lower at $9.43. However, the stock is a little higher in pre-market trading.

Ford seatbelt concerns

Ford said that it had been made aware that its seat belt pretensioners on certain pickup models, were causing excessive sparks and smoke during use.

“Ford’s investigation found that some front seat belt pretensioners can generate excessive sparks when they deploy,” the company said.

“When sufficient sparks are present, gases exhausted inside the lower portion of the B-pillar by the pretensioners may ignite. If this gas ignites, components behind the B-pillar such as insulation and carpet may subsequently catch fire,” it added.

The US car maker said that it was aware of 17 reports relating to this problem in the US and an additional six reports in Canada. Despite the issues, the company added that to its own knowledge, there have been no accidents or injuries due to the seatbelt design.

Ford dealerships to rectify  seat belt fire hazard

Ford said that the majority of its vehicles that are affected by the problem were the 2015-18 Ford F-150 vehicles built at Dearborn Assembly Plant between March 12, 2014 and August 23, 2018. And also, 2015-18 Ford F-150 vehicles built at its Kansas City Assembly Plant between August 20, 2014 and August 23, 2018.

“Dealers will remove insulation material from the B-pillar trim, remove remnants of wiring harness tape in the B-pillar area, and apply heat-resistant tape to the carpet and its insulation. Dealers also will modify the back interior panels of Regular Cab vehicles. All repairs will be provided at no cost to customers,” Ford said.