The second-largest U.S. automaker said it was aware of 17 reports of smoke or fire in the United States and six in Canada relating to seat-belt pretensioners, but was not aware of any accidents or injuries as a result. The mechanism of the pretensioner, which works in tandem with air bags, involves an explosive charge that locks a seat belt in place during a crash.
Some pretensioners in front seat belts could generate excessive sparks when deployed, resulting possibly in a fire, the company said.
The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary investigation in August into 1.6 million Ford trucks after five complaints of fires in the seat belt component, including three vehicles destroyed by fires.
Owners should “take action” when they receive recall notices from Ford disclosing the timing for free repairs, NHTSA said in a statement Thursday.
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