Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator Recall Issued After Engine Fires, and Ford Pickup Trucks Linked to Side Airbag Problems

Ford has received at least 16 reports of engine fires linked to the recalled vehicles, and thousands more may have airbags that do not deploy properly.

Federal highway safety officials have announced recalls that impact about 350,000 Ford trucks and SUVs, due to series of defects that may cause the engine to catch on fire, or airbags to fail to deploy in the event of a car accident.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced two Ford recalls on May 18, one of which warns the owners of certain Navigator and Expedition vehicles to park outside and away from structures due to a risk that the vehicles may catch on fire, even when parked with the engine turned off.

The other recall is over driver side airbags which may may fail to deploy in certain Ford F-25, F-350, and F-450 and F550 Super Duty trucks.

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The Expedition and Navigator recall was announced after Ford Motors received 16 warranty claims indicating non-collision engine compartment fires started. While Ford has announced some of the warranty claims showed signs of melted battery junction boxes, a common root cause of the fires has not been identified across all incidents.

The recall includes 39,013 model year 2021 Ford Expeditions and 2021 Ford Navigators that were manufactured from December 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021, and distributed for sale to licensed dealers across the U.S.

To date, Ford has become aware of at least 16 vehicle fires. Of the fires reported, 12 occurred while the vehicle was parked and the engine was turned off. One incident occurred while the vehicle was parked with the engine on and three instances occurred while the vehicles were being driven.

Ford is instructing owners to park the vehicles outside and away from structures to prevent the risk of house fires and injuries, until a recall repair can be performed. At this time, Ford has yet to identify the root cause of the issue and stated a remedy is not available.

Customers will be mailed notification of the recall and safety risk, with instructions to park their vehicles outside and away from buildings. A second letter will be mailed once a remedy is available.

In a separate notice issued on May 18, a Ford truck recall was announced by the NHTSA, stating driver side airbags may fail to deploy in approximately 310,203 model year 2016 Ford F-25, F-350, and F-450 and F550 Super Duty trucks.

Ford Motors warned dust may accumulate in the steering wheel clock spring, causing a disconnection in the electrical connection, resulting in the driver air bag not deploying as intended in the event of a crash, creating a serious risk of injury to drivers.

In the event of dust building up in the steering wheel clock spring, Ford stated friction of the internal ribbon cable which rotates the steering wheel can cause backwinding or over winding and disrupt the electrical components. Owners are being cautioned to listen for a “popping” or “clicking” sound inside of the steering wheel, or the sudden failure of the radio control buttons on the steering wheel.

Owners can expect to receive a mailed notification with instructions on how to schedule a free repair at their local dealer by July 5, 2022. Dealers will be instructed to replace the steering wheel clock spring.

For additional questions or concerns regarding the recalls, Ford is instructing customers to contact their customer service department at t 1-866-436-7332, and reference the recall number 22S35 for the Super Duty airbag recall, and recall number 22S36 for the Navigator and Expedition fire risk recall.

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