In May, Ford announced a recall of its 2021 Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators built between late 2020 and early 2021. The recall is restricted to these SUVs, which were manufactured over a four-month period. It is estimated that this recall affects over 350,000 Expedition and Navigator models. These SUVs are being recalled while Ford investigates the cause of fires that originate under the hood. So far, 16 fires have been reported with at least one burn injury.
Currently, Ford is not asking owners to stop driving their vehicles. Instead, owners of these models are being advised to park their SUVs outside and away from buildings. Twelve of the documented incidents occurred when the vehicle was parked and turned off.
In addition to the Ford recall for vehicle fires, a recall regarding engine fires was issued in February for Hyundai, Genesis and Kia vehicles. Owners were also instructed to park their cars outside and away from structures until the recall repairs could be completed.
What To Do If Your Vehicle is Recalled
If your car, truck or SUV is included in the Ford or another manufacturer recall, you should be contacted by mail or through a manufacturer’s app on your cell phone about the recall. Instructions on how to proceed should also be provided. In most cases, once a cause has been identified, you will be notified to contact a local dealer to have your vehicle repaired. These repairs should be performed at a dealer at no additional cost to you.
Ford has issued 32 different recalls in the last year, covering more than 3.5 million vehicles. As the number two U.S. automaker, they have given more recalls than any other auto manufacturer. In addition to the recall about potential fires, Ford also recalled models of trucks that may accumulate dust in the steering wheel, causing an electrical disconnection which could result in the driver’s airbags not being deployed as expected. Also, certain 2022 Mustangs have been recalled due to a misaligned forward-facing camera that may not function properly, increasing the risk of accidents.
Causes of Vehicle Fires
Sometimes vehicle fires are caused by assembly or poor vehicle design. As in the case of Ford’s recall regarding engine fires, a fire could begin in the rear engine area on the passenger side. However, as part of this recall, several engine fires had unknown origins, making it difficult to determine the cause. The cause is still under investigation.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading causes of vehicle fires were mechanical failures or malfunctions and electrical failures or malfunctions. Other common causes of fires include fuel system leaks, spilled fluids, overheating Catalytic Converts, car accidents, overheating engines, electric and hybrid vehicle batteries, and poor maintenance. Many of these potential fire causes can be reduced by maintaining your vehicle and ensuring it is in good mechanical condition.
It’s important to note that several common fire causes are out of the hands of the driver or owner of the vehicle. If this is the case, such as with design flaws or electric batteries, if the manufacturer has instructed you to have them repaired, do so.
What To Do If Your Vehicle Catches Fire
If your vehicle catches fire while driving, immediately pull your car over to a safe spot. Try to pull over as far away from the road or buildings to protect yourself and any bystanders. Ensure that your vehicle is turned off, and get yourself and your passengers immediately away from it. Do not return to your car to retrieve personal items or to check on the fire. After ensuring you and your passengers’ safety, call 911. If you can alert other drivers to give your vehicle space, safely do so.
Even if you have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle, do not try to put the fire out yourself. Do not open the trunk, doors or hood, as this may provide additional oxygen and feed the fire. Let the emergency responders who know how to deal with vehicle fires do their jobs.
When dealing with an automobile fire, always be cautious and proactive. Fire is unpredictable, and vehicles can cause explosions due to the components of a vehicle – including gasoline.
As a vehicle owner, remember these vehicle fire safety tips. Also, pay attention to vehicle recalls. To ensure your safety and the safety of others, don’t ignore having the recall repair performed.