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Ford Transit recall expanded to quash water-based gremlins

Ford is adding 26,000 examples of its 2014-2017 full-size vans to an existing recall centered on problematic trailer tow modules.

Ford is recalling an additional 26,000 examples of its 2015-2017 Transit vans and chassis cabs equipped with a trailer tow module. The recall of these full-size trucks is an expansion of an existing campaign from last October, bringing the total number of affected units to 99,893 vehicles in North America, of which 90,864 were purchased in the US.

The recall centers on a problematic trailer tow module that could be subject to water intrusion, a condition that could lead to corrosion. If that happens, the module could wreak havoc with the Transit's electrical system, manifesting itself in a number of different ways, including loss of instrument cluster readouts, rapid turn-signal blinking, inoperable heater and ventilation controls, and malfunctioning infotainment. 

In more extreme scenarios, prolonged exposure to water could short out a ground wire that could trigger the seatbelt pretensioners or even increase the risk of fire (whether the vehicle is operating or not).

The Blue Oval says it knows of two vehicle fires attributed to the issue on Canadian-market fleet vehicles, but it says it's unaware of any accidents or injuries resulting from the faulty trailer tow module.

Affected models were built at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant between Feb. 3, 2014 and Aug. 2, 2017. 

The automaker's dealers will inspect vehicles covered under this recall, and add a fuse to the wiring harness and a drain hole in the driver's door step well area to fix the issue.

Ford blames an "identification error of certain configurations of the vehicle population" for not including these 26,000 models in its initial recall campaign.

In early April, Ford recalled some 350,000 of its new full-size trucks, including its popular F-150 and Expedition models, over transmission issues.