Fire risk sparks re­call of Ranger and BT-50 utes

Countryman - - MACHINERY AND TECHNOLOGY - Joshua Dowl­ing

Ford and Mazda have is­sued an ur­gent warn­ing to 70,000 own­ers of Ranger and BT-50 utes built since July 2016 to not drive over long grass dur­ing the sum­mer break af­ter 24 cars caught fire or be­gan to “smoul­der”.

Grass clip­pings can get caught un­der the diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter, which can get ex­tremely hot and spark a fire.

The re­call af­fects about 52,000 Ford Rangers built since July 2016 and 17,000 Mazda BT-50 utes built since June 23, 2016.

Both ve­hi­cles are made on the same Thai­land pro­duc­tion line.

Added to the tally are about 7000 new Ford Rangers sit­ting in dealer stock and an as yet undis­closed num­ber of BT-50s in Mazda show­rooms.

Mazda says it has had 15 con­firmed cases of ve­hi­cle fires. Ford says there have been “two con­firmed cases of ve­hi­cles be­ing writ­ten off” as a re­sult of fire and “seven con­firmed cases of smoke or fires which have re­sulted in min­i­mal dam­age” since De­cem­ber 2016.

At first, Ford thought the prob­lem was iso­lated but it es­ca­lated its in­ves­ti­ga­tions af­ter a “clus­ter” of Ranger fires in the mid­dle of 2017.

De­spite the dan­ger, Ford and Mazda have not is­sued a “stopde­liv­ery” no­tice on cars in stock.

Ford and Mazda say the re­call fix will not be ready un­til the new year. Ford has is­sued a bul­letin in the mean­time to warn own­ers of the dan­ger and to avoid driv­ing in con­di­tions that can spark a fire.

A state­ment from Ford Aus­tralia said: “The re­call is in re­la­tion to a risk of fire due to grass or veg­e­ta­tion ac­cu­mu­la­tion near the DPF that pro­duces very high tem­per­a­tures dur­ing re­gen­er­a­tion mode”.

The com­pany added: “The DPF re­gen­er­a­tion can ra­di­ate a con­sid­er­able amount of heat, which could cre­ate a fire risk if suf­fi­cient grass or veg­e­ta­tion ac­cu­mu­lates in this area”.

Own­ers can take their car to a Ford or Mazda dealer to have them make sure the area around the DPF is clear of de­bris, or own­ers can check it them­selves.

The DPF is lo­cated in the un­der­body area “ad­ja­cent to the ex­haust sys­tem and trans­mis­sion cross mem­ber”.

The Ford bul­letin con­tin­ues: “While the like­li­hood of this sit­u­a­tion aris­ing is low, Ford is tak­ing pre­cau­tion­ary ac­tion to help pre­vent this sit­u­a­tion from oc­cur­ring as cus­tomer safety is the com­pany’s top pri­or­ity. Cus­tomers will be con­tacted again as parts are avail­able to ad­dress this con­cern.”

Ford says the Ever­est SUV, which shares much of its un­der­pin­nings with the Ranger and Mazda utes and is made in the same Thai­land fac­tory, is not af­fected.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.