Ford is recalling nearly 1 million pickups in North America equipped with an engine block heater.
This one you'll probably want to see your Ford dealer about since there's a very real risk of fire. We know that you want your engine to remain at least a little warm when there's a deep freeze outside, but literally on fire might be a bit more than the manufacturer asked for.
The problem is with recent-model F-150 and Super Duty pickups equipped with engine block heaters. Water and other contaminants can seep into the block heater's splice connector which can lead to corrosion. With corrosion comes damage, damage comes the risk of a short, and risk of a short comes a malfunctioning block heater.
A broken block heater can act up in a number of ways. It could just stop working and lead to your engine turning into a frozen block of ice at an inopportune time (which is basically any time at all). It could result in tripled breakers in your home's electrical network. Or in rare cases, it can even lead to a fire.
Ford is aware of at least 3 fires that resulted from corrosion in the engine block heater splice connector, so this is no joke.
Exactly 410,289 Ford pickups in the USA are affected by the recall and even more in Canada: 463,793 pickups. Can't imagine why Canadians would need a block heater for their pickup.
Affected vehicles are 2015-2019 F-150s built at Ford's Dearborn, Michigan plant between March 18, 2014, and November 17, 2018, as well as at the Kansas City plant between August 21, 2014, and November 17, 2018. Also included are 2015-2017 Super Duty pickups built at the Ohio truck plant between February 5, 2016, and November 17, 2018, as well as at Ford's Kentucky truck plant between October 8, 2015, and November 17, 2018.
The fix is relatively simple at least. Ford dealers will inspect the engine block heater cable and replace it if it's seen to be corroded or otherwise damaged free of charge. If they can't find anything wrong with it they'll wrap it in electrical tape to prevent any possible future issues.
Ford hasn't provided any details on how they'll get I. Touch with owners in their press release, but owners can check to see if their pickup is recalled by going to Ford's website and typing in their VIN. In the meantime, hope for warm weather so you don't need to use the block heater.