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Ford Under Fire for Duct Tape Fix on Recalled Trucks

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Ford is recalling 490,574 units of Super Duty trucks in the United States over risks of the carpets and insulation catching fire during a crash, according to recent filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

But other than the massive recall, Ford is also being criticized for its plan to use duct tape to fix the problem.

The recall affects 2017-2019 Super Duty pickup trucks, including the F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 all built between October 8, 3025 and October 29, 2019. This is the same problem as the previously recalled 1.6 million F-150 trucks from 2015 through 2018 model years. Same with the September 2018 recall, it was prompted by a concern with the seatbelt pretensioners mounted in B-pillars generating “excessive sparks” during a crash.

According to Ford’s filings, the company intends to repair the problem by lining the carpet edges with insulating foil tape typically used in home HVAC systems.

The pretensioners deploy simultaneously with the airbags and use a small explosive charge, which removes all slack in the belt mechanism in the event of a collision. They are mounted either behind the B-pillar next to the retractor or within the buckle latch next to the seat.

In the case of Ford trucks, the sparks generated by the pretensioners can ignite the exhausted gas and set the insulation and carpet on fire.

According to Ford’s filings, the company intends to repair the problem by lining the carpet edges with insulating foil tape typically used in home HVAC systems. The same one seemingly used by the automaker in a previously released dealer training video. Additionally, the dealer will strip the insulation at the bottom of the B-pillar (where the pretensioner is located) to prevent the material from alighting.

Owners of the affected Super Duty trucks can expect repairs to begin in late January.

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