Nearly 15,000 Ford Fusion Energi hybrids recalled due to fire risk

Ford has issued a recall that applies to nearly 15,000 units of the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid built during the 2019 and 2020 model years. The sedans affected in the campaign are equipped with a defective current interruption device (CID) that can, in some cases, cause a fire.

Assigned recall number 23V-440 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign includes 14,452 units of the Fusion Energi built between December 6, 2017, and July 27, 2020. Ford estimates that the defect is present in 100% of the recalled cars.

The company explains that “CID activation in a high-voltage battery cell can result in excess voltage and current flow through the battery energy control module (BECM).” In turn, this can damage the BECM and cause the drivetrain to turn off, though Ford adds that drivers might see a “stop safely now” message in the instrument cluster before this happens. Damage to the BECM can also cause “a localized fire.”

Ford states that it’s not aware of any accidents or injuries linked to the defect, but it notes that its Trend and Early Warning Support (TEWS) team reported five instances of fire allegations that started in the trunk of a 2019 Fusion plug-in hybrid. The firm explains that these incidents occurred between March and May 2022, and that the fires started while the cars were getting a new BECM installed by a dealership.

On February 8, 2023, Ford sent its dealers a technical service bulletin (TSB) instructing them to replace the high-voltage battery if a customer brings a Fusion Energi for service due to one or more voltage sense diagnostic trouble code instead of only replacing the BECM.

While it searches for a solution to the problem, Ford is asking owners of affected cars to “refrain from charging their vehicles to maintain a lower charge level in the high-voltage battery” to reduce the risk of the drivetrain shutting down and the risk of a fire. The company will reach out to owners by mail starting on July 10, 2023, and it plans to keep them updated as engineers uncover more details about the problem.

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