Ford Motor Co. said it’s recalling 65,206 Ford Transit vehicles in the U.S., each one equipped with a trailer tow module, because of potential wiring corrosion and module damage that can cause electronic systems to malfunction and raise the risk of fire.
Ford is advising customers to park these vehicles outside until final repairs are completed. These recalled vehicles are in the 2015 to 2017 model years only.
The wiring corrosion and module damage stem from water leaking into the trailer tow module and connector. Turn signals might start flashing rapidly, the instrument cluster display might malfunction, and the heater and air conditioning controls might fail as a result. What’s more, multimedia functions such as radio, screens and SYNC might not perform properly, according to Ford.
Wiring corrosion from prolonged water exposure can also result in an electrical short to the ground. This could lead to unexpected seat belt pretensioner deployment, a burning smell and a higher risk of fire — even when the van is parked and the ignition is off, Ford said.
The automaker noted that it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the issue. But the company knows of two reports of Canadian fleet vehicle fires that might be related. In addition to the recalled vans in the U.S., Ford is recalling 8,365 Transit vans in Canada for this same problem.
Until parts are available for the final repair, customers have the option of asking a dealer to disable the trailer module.
“For the final repair, dealers will add a drainage hole to the driver’s door stepwell and incorporate a fuse into the vehicle wiring harness,” Ford explained in a released statement about the recall.
There will be no charge for the repairs and services. The Ford reference number for this recall is 17S34.