Ford Motor Company will recall the 2015-2017 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs due to fire risk.
Ford and Lincoln full-size SUVs became the subject of a Ford Motor Company recall in the wake of reports describing fires.
According to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) posted on Aug. 26, a blower motor mounted behind the glovebox could malfunction in 198,482 SUVs. If that happens while the vehicle is on, the NHTSA’s investigation found, it could cause an interior fire.
That’s happened in 25 reported cases. Of those reported fires, 13 remained localized to the blower motor area, and 12 resulted in “more extensive” damage to the vehicles they started in. According to the NHTSA, it remains unclear whether the blower motor malfunction directly caused the more severe fires.
Three of the fires damaged property nearby, and one damaged a nearby vehicle. One of the claims alleges burns to an individual’s hand and fingers.
According to the documents, some customers have reported an inoperative fan, burning smell, and/or smoke from the instrument panel vents while the vehicles are on.
Although the recall only corresponds to 2015-2017 model-year vehicles, Ford Motor Company installed the same blower motor on Expedition and Navigator SUVs as early as 2009, the NHTSA found.
The later model years “[coincide] with a reduction in blower motor production volumes from the supplier,” according to the chronology filed with the agency, although the report doesn’t describe what changed about the blower motors. The report does state that data shows the problem doesn’t seem to occur in the earlier model-year vehicles.
Owners of affected vehicles will receive notifications starting on Sept. 12. Dealers will replace the front blower motor assembly at no cost to the customer. In the meantime, owners can check the NHTSA recalls website for updates or to determine whether their vehicle is affected.