According to USA Today, seat belt pretensioners equipped in F-150 pickups can generate excessive sparks when they deploy. When sufficient, these sparks can ignite gases exhausted inside the lower portion of the B-pillar causing components, insulation, and carpet inside the vehicle cabin to catch fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the defect in August, after receiving five reports of vehicle fires. This included three instances in which vehicles were completely engulfed in flames and destroyed.
The seat belt pretensioners in the trucks were manufactured by either ZF TRW or Takata. Takata is the same parts manufacturer behind a massive recall of airbags that can explode upon deployment. Both airbags and seat belt pretensions rely on volatile, combustible materials to deploy.
According to NPR, The recall affects certain Regular Cab and SuperCrew Cab pickups from the 2015 through 2018 model years:
Ford’s F-series trucks serve as the automakers flagship product and have been the best-selling trucks in America for more than 40 years and the best-selling vehicle of any type for more than 30 years.
Ford sold almost 2.5 million F-series trucks from 2015 through 2017 and more than 500,000 trucks through July 2018, with five months to go. If all F-series trucks in the four years were to be recalled, the total number of vehicles involved would be close to 3.5 million.
Drivers have enough to worry about while traversing the roadways on a daily basis. When a person gets behind the wheel of a car, there is a reasonable expectation that the car is going to perform in a matter that would not put the operator’s life in jeopardy. Unfortunately there are hundreds of vehicle recalls each year due to manufacturer defects, from the tires to the ignition switches, that can cause catastrophic injuries and in some cases death. If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective part in a vehicle, contact Thomas J. Henry.
Our experienced defective vehicle lawyers have handled a multitude of injury claims caused by recalled vehicles. We continue to handle cases involving faulty and dangerous GM ignition switches and Takata airbags. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free legal consultation — our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends.