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Ford Recalling 327,000 F-Series Pickups for Second Time Over Block Heater Cables

Inspections during the initial recall may have caused damage to the cables Automotive columnist: , Updated:

Sometimes fixing a problem can lead to another: Ford says it’s recalling 327,000 F-Series pickup trucks in North America for a second time. These are vehicles that owners had brought in under an earlier recall issued last December over defective block heater cables that could ignite and cause a fire.

That first recall targeted 874,000 F-Series trucks in all; up to now 327,000 owners had brought in their vehicles under that recall, but Ford has determined that the inspections may have inadvertently caused new damage to the cables.

The problem initially stemmed from possible water and contaminant infiltration into the cables, resulting in corrosion and a risk of fire due to an electrical short.

Under the new recall, dealerships will simply cut the prongs that fit into electrical outlets making the cables non-functional, and replace the cables when parts become available. A Ford spokesperson said the company does not yet know when those parts will be delivered.

In the meantime, Ford is advising owners not to use their block heaters, and is emphasizing that no risk exists as long as the cables are not plugged in.
The recall impacts 2015-2019 Ford F-150 models and 2017-2019 Super Duty trucks.
According to Ford, it is aware of two fires in Canada and one in the United States that could be attributed to the defective cables. In all three of those cases, owners had brought their trucks in under the initial recall and had inspections performed.