The recall was due to a risk of fire in 66,221 units of the largest SUVs made by Ford and Lincoln
The problem comes from a defective battery junction box related to the engine’s cooling fan
According to the automaker, a covid-related change in the supplier’s production process is the cause
According to the company’s investigations, the battery junction box could melt and create a spark that can cause an underhood fire, 21 instances of which have now been reported.
In order to fix this issue, dealerships will proceed with an inspection of the junction box to detect any melting damage. If the component appears to have begun melting, it will be replaced.
Even if the part isn’t replaced, technicians will remove the ground wire for the engine’s cooling fan in the vehicles equipped with an 800-watt fan motor, which should be around a third of the affected units.
The rest of the recalled vehicles are equipped with a 700-watt engine fan, which will have to receive an auxiliary box equipped with a wire jumper. This part is not currently available but the automaker expects to have it in stock by September.
According to Ford, the defective battery junction boxes came from a supplier that had to hastily move to a different production facility amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The parts manufactured at the new location are apparently more susceptible to a high-current short, which can melt their plastic casing.
Those defective boxes were installed in vehicles produced between July 27, 2020 and August 31, 2021.
The automaker recommends to continue parking the recalled vehicles outside and away from structures until the problem has been fixed since the fire risk is also present when the ignition is switched off.