Not every automotive recall covers actual cars. In Ford's case, its latest actually involves the charging cables sent out with three different electrified vehicles.
Ford has issued a recall for approximately 50,000 EV charging cables. The cables were shipped with the Focus Electric EV, as well as the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. The vehicles carry build dates ranging from September 2011 to March 2015.
The problem isn't with the cars, but with the cable. According to Ford, if the 120-volt convenience charging cord is plugged into an AC outlet that's worn or damaged, or isn't on a dedicated circuit, it could increase the temperature at the wall outlet. If the temperature gets too high, it could lead to a fire. Ford says it's aware of "some" fire reports, but didn't say exactly how many.
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified via first-class mail. The notification will contain a reminder about the kind of wall outlets that can support EV charging, in addition to a reminder to never use extension cords in conjunction with charging cables.
Remedying the issue is about as straightforward as it gets. A quick trip to the dealer will earn affected owners a new cable. This new cable will contain a thermistor, which is capable of identifying when the temperature gets too high, and it will pause charging until it cools to a safe level.