Ford Recalls Trucks Over Faulty Engine Block Heater

Ford Recalls Trucks Over Faulty Engine Block Heater

Ford Recalls Trucks Again Over Faulty Engine-Block Heater

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Ford is recalling more than 130,000 pickup trucks to repair components that could have been broken as the result of another recent recall. The earlier recall was meant to fix a problem with the truck's engine-block heater.

In December 2018, Ford recalled 410,289 full-sized pickup trucks in the U.S. because of a risk of fire from the engine-block heater. Water and contaminants could enter into the block heater cable's connector and lead to corrosion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ford says that any pickups that were inspected in that previous recall could have had new damage done to the block heater cable connectors. The new damage could lead to problems, all the way up to a risk for fire. "A safety risk only exists while the vehicle is parked and the block heater cable is plugged into an electrical outlet,” a statement from Ford said. Owners should not use the engine-block heater cable.

William Wallace, senior policy analyst for Consumer Reports, says the important thing for owners to remember is that all recall work needs to be done, no matter what else happens.

"It's unfortunate, and it's inconvenient for consumers, but it's the right thing to do for safety," Wallace says of consumers having to endure multiple recalls. "We urge people to get any open safety defect fixed quickly—even if it's the second recall they're dealing with over a short period of time."

A Ford spokeswoman told CR via email, “We recognize the inconvenience recalls cause our customers. Yet customers also know these actions help ensure their safety and improve quality and customer satisfaction. We are absolutely committed to launching products with top quality and addressing issues when we see them.”

To fix this latest problem, dealerships will disable the vehicle’s engine-block heater cable by cutting off the plug end prongs and sealing the end cap with silicone sealant. Customers will be notified when an engine-block replacement cable is available.

There are 131,068 trucks in the U.S. and approximately 196,269 in Canada that are at risk from the previous recall.

The company reports that there has been one known fire in the U.S. and one in Canada related to the prior recall work.

Ford isn't the only automaker this has happened to recently:

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 131,068 pickup trucks, including

The problem: Full-sized pickup trucks that were serviced during a previous recall for an engine-block heater connector have a risk for causing an electrical short circuit and/or the engine not starting. This new problem was introduced during a previous recall repair effort.

The fix: Dealers will disable the vehicle’s engine-block heater cable, at no charge to owners. Ford says it will notify owners when a replacement cable is available.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332.

NHTSA’s campaign number: Not available yet. Ford's number for this recall is 19S11. (The previous recall was campaign number 18V894 and Ford recall 18S45.)

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and this recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often (and for many older vehicles) we recommend checking back regularly.



More from Consumer Reports:
Top pick tires for 2016
Best used cars for $25,000 and less
7 best mattresses for couples

  • Nissan had to re-recall 341,000 Altima sedans for an issue involving doors that wouldn't latch properly back in February.
  • Honda announced a recall in January for more than a million vehicles to replace replacement Takata airbags.
  • 2015-19 Ford F-150 vehicles built at Dearborn Truck Plant, March 18, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2018, and at Kansas City Assembly Plant, Aug. 21, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2018
  • 2017-19 Ford F-Series Super Duty vehicles built at Ohio Assembly Plant, Feb. 5, 2016, to Nov. 17, 2018, and at Kentucky Truck Plant, Oct. 8, 2015, to Nov. 17, 2018

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2019, Consumer Reports, Inc.