Both Ford and General Motors have recently issued similar recalls of popular truck models to correct dangerous conditions which could lead to fire. In each, the recalls address issues with engine block heaters—electric elements which connect to external power while a vehicle sits for an extended time. These devices warm the engine and make it easier to start in cold weather.
About the General Motors Recall
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), General Motors has recalled close to 325,000 heavy-duty trucks under the Chevrolet and GMC brands. An issue with the cord to the optional engine block heater could increase the risk of fire. An article on the recall is available here. Affected vehicles include:
- 2017-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 Heavy-Duty Trucks
- 2017-2019 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 Heavy-Duty Trucks
- 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4500/5500/6500 Commercial Trucks
Only vehicles with a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine and engine block heater are affected. GM says owners may see or smell smoke, notice poor performance from the engine block heater, or find coolant under their trucks. The manufacturer is aware of 19 fires related to the issue, though there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities.
About the Ford Recall
Ford Motor Company has recalled 410,289 full-sized pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada over risk of fire. The NHTSA says water and contaminants may corrode the cable connector to the engine block heater, elevating the risk of fire. Ford has issued an additional recall to correct damage which could have occurred during the original campaign. An article detailing this secondary recall appears here.
Ford states the risk only exists when the engine block heater is plugged in, and urges all vehicle owners to not use the heater until the secondary recall has been completed. The new recall affects 131,068 trucks in the U.S. and 196,269 trucks in Canada, which should have all repaired under the previous recall.
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