In the official recall documents posted by NHTSA, Ford says that it “has not identified the cause of this condition.” However, Ford also says it is currently aware of 25 fire allegations related to the blower motors on these vehicles. Despite not strictly identifying the cause of blower motor fires, Ford put forth a theory in its fieldwork analysis of the issue.
“In June 2022, based on component analysis, Ford Engineering theorized that a mispositioned blower motor brush holder spring could cause an internal short or localized heating of the brush spring or holder. It is believed that when a fire initiates on the blower motor, it does so at the positive brush holder location. The variable blower controller would remain operational and there would be no signs of an overheated relay. Field data indicates that this concern typically occurs at a higher time in service, and on vehicles with higher mileage.”
Since the blower motor is located on the passenger side interior behind the glovebox, the fires that start are interior fires. Ford isn’t aware of any accidents related to this issue, but there is one claim of burnt hands and fingers as a result of a fire. According to Ford, warning signs of an impending fire or failed blower motor include an inoperative fan, burning smell and/or smoke from the instrument panel vents while the vehicle is on.
To remedy this situation, Ford is recalling the affected SUVs and replacing the blower motor assembly with a revised part. The new part uses a blower motor assembly design utilized on other applications. If folks with these SUVs experience any symptoms of blower motor failure before the new part becomes available, Ford says they can take their vehicle to the dealer to have it replaced with a part of the same design. Once the redesigned part becomes available, the dealer will then swap it in. Owner notification letters are expected to begin on September 12 this year.
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