You'd be surprised what random vehicle components are capable of causing fires, like the seat belt pretensioners that are at the center of Ford's latest major recall.
Ford has issued a recall for approximately 2 million examples of the 2015-2018 F-150 pickup in both regular-cab and crew-cab configurations. The vehicles were built at the Dearborn and Kansas City assembly plants between March 12, 2014 and Aug. 23, 2018.
The issue lies with the seat belt pretensioners, which are responsible for holding the belts taut during a collision. When the pretensioners deploy, they might generate "excessive sparks," according to Ford. The pretensioners also let off gas when they activate, and the sparks might cause that gas to ignite within the vehicle's B-pillar. If that happens, the material behind the B-pillar might start on fire.
Ford has learned of 17 reports of smoke or fire in the US and six in Canada, but thankfully, it says it's not aware of any injuries or accidents related to the problem.
Ford already has a remedy in place. When vehicles return to the dealership, technicians will remove some insulation and wiring harness tape from the B-pillar, adding heat-resistant tape to both the carpet and insulation in the same area. Regular-cab variants will also have their back interior panels modified. Owners will be notified via first-class mail, and should call their dealers to schedule times to take the vehicles in.