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article imageGeneral Motors and Ford recall trucks over engine block heaters

By Karen Graham     May 3, 2019 in Business
General Motors Co said Friday it is recalling 368,000 medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks equipped with engine-block heaters for fire risks after 19 reports of fires. Ford Motors also has a recall over engine block heaters.
GM spokesman Dan Flores said there have been no reports of injuries, accidents or fatalities tied to the recall, according to Reuters. GM is asking customers not to use engine block heaters until further notice.
The recall covers certain 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4500, 5500 and 6500 trucks, 2017 through 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 trucks.
The trucks all come equipped with a Duramax 6.6-liter diesel engine and an optional engine-block heater used to keep the block warm in extremely cold temperatures. The recall affects about 324,000 U.S. trucks.
GM began investigating the problem in December after a company engineer submitted a report to the company’s “Speak up for Safety” program after inspecting an engine-block heater recovered from a warranty return. Further investigation found that a fire can occur if a block-heater coolant leak develops and the coolant comes in contact with the cable terminals, or if the cable itself is damaged.
According to General Motors, the electric heater cord or the terminals connecting the cord to the heater could short-circuit and fail. This can cause fires. GM stopped building trucks with this optional combination late last month.
ABC News is reporting GM notified dealers on April 26 to stop selling trucks with the optional combination until repairs are made. However, the company says a "remedy for the issue" is still under development. No date has been set yet to notify owners.
Ford also has a problem with engine block heaters
Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2015-2019 Ford F-150 and 2017-2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty, F-350 Super Duty, F-450 Super Duty, and F-550 Super Duty pickup trucks, according to Motor
The report of an under-hood fire in a 2017 F-150 pickup was first brought to Ford’s attention Feb. 28, 2019. The fire broke out when the engine block heater was plugged into a wall outlet.
After inspection, greasing and reconnection, the vehicle was returned to service. A subsequent inspection later revealed that the fire had very likely been caused by the engine block heater cable, specifically a separated male pin in the splice connector.
Ford's recall began on April 22, 2019. Right now, dealers are disabling the engine block heaters so they can't be used. When replacement cables become available, a second notice will be mailed and dealers will replace the engine block heater cords, free of charge.
More about General motors, Recall, fire risk, engine block heaters, medium and heavy duty
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