Reports of F-150 Seat Belt Fires Prompt Investigation
U.S. safety officials and Ford are looking into five incidents involving 2015-2018 Ford F-150 models.
According to The Detroit News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating five complaints that fires may have been caused by the seatbelts in certain Ford F-150 trucks. Affected models include those built between the 2015 and 2018 model years, which spans nearly 2 million pickups. According to the report, three such fires destroyed the trucks involved in the complaints, while two others extinguished on their own.
The problem affects trucks equipped with seat belt tensioners produced by ZF-TRW or Takata. Those pretensioners are designed to gradually prepare the seat belts to restrain passengers. According to the NHTSA, all five fires began in a support pillar that houses the seat belts. To date, no injuries have been reported as a result of this defect. Ford is cooperating fully with the investigation.
One of the complaints occurred after an owner’s Ford F-150 was struck on the driver’s side by a deer. The impact caused the side air bags to inflate. Minutes later, a passenger noticed a small fire where the seat belts are located. Specifically, between the front and rear doors near the bottom of the belt post. According to the owner, “The truck went up in complete flames in a matter of minutes and is a complete loss.”
So far, neither ZF-TRW or Takata have commented on the matter. Of course, Takata is already in hot water for their faulty air bags, which has led to the largest recall in U.S. history. If you own a 2015-2018 Ford F-150, be sure and stay tuned. We hope to learn more about this potentially dangerous situation soon!