The NHTSA is conducting an investigation of model year 2015-2018 Ford F-150 seat belts due to a fire risk, with up to 1.4 million vehicles affected.
According to five F-150 Supercrew owner complaints, all instances originated from each truck?s B pillars after its seatbelt pretensioners, a mechanism that locks seatbelt during a crash, activated immediately after crashes.
The pretensioners are said to have been manufactured by ZF or Takata, the latter company embroiled in ongoing lawsuits with 100 million defective airbags recalled worldwide.
No injuries or deaths have been reported although three of the five trucks were damaged beyond repair. One owner described the damage in a statement to the NHTSA.
“The truck went up in complete flames in a matter of minutes and is a complete loss,” said the owner, from Grand Rapids, Mich.
Another report described a fire in greater detail.
“I rear-ended another vehicle at around 35mph. The front airbags deployed. Within 2 minutes we noticed that the truck was on fire. The fire originated at the bottom of the driver side b pillar. Myself, one witness, and one law enforcement officer all saw where the fire started. The truck front and cab were totally burned up within 5 minutes.”
Given the large number of Takata customers, you’ll want to stay tuned to learn if other automakers join the same recall.