Ford Motor Co. is recalling some 15,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles whose batteries could go up in flames.
The recall covers certain Ford Fusion PHEVs from model years 2019 and 2020. The electric sedans could lose power and catch fire, Ford recently told federal safety regulators.
The company says Battery Energy Control Modules in the vehicles could become damaged.
“A damaged BECM caused by excess voltage and current flow can result in a loss of motive power which increases the risk of a crash, or a localized fire around the BECM, which increases the risk of injury,” Ford said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The company plans to notify owners of recalled cars by late July, Ford said in the NHTSA notice.
The problem, however, is that Ford has yet to determine why BCEMs are susceptible to damage. That means it does not yet know how to prevent the fire risk.
The company is asking owners to take preventative action in the meantime.
“Owners of vehicles will be notified by mail to refrain from charging their vehicles to maintain a lower charge level in the high voltage battery, reducing the risk of a loss of motive power and vehicle fire until a remedy is available,” Ford told NHTSA. “Owners will also be informed that Ford’s investigation is ongoing and that they will be contacted when further information is available.”
Ford Defects Put Lives at Risk
This is an all too common scenario for anyone who owns or drives a Ford. The company issued more recalls than any other auto manufacturer last year.
Ford announced a total of 67 separate recalls in 2022, NHTSA data show, far surpassing the 45 recalls by the next closest manufacturer, Volkswagen.
While Ford is a leading recaller, it is not alone. Major auto manufacturers call back millions of vehicles every year over a wide range of defects that pose real safety threats.
That is where the California lemon law comes in.
The lemon law forces Ford and other car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. Manufacturers are also required to buy back (or replace, in some situations) cars that they cannot or will not fix.
The buyback requirement includes compensating the owner for any down payment on the car, in addition to monthly loan payments and the outstanding balance on any vehicle loan. The manufacturer is also responsible for towing, rental cars, and other related expenses.
A carmaker can instead offer to replace the vehicle. It is up to the owner, however, to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.