Ford Issues Safety Recalls In North America For 120-Volt Charging Cords

AUG 23 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 29

Ford’s safety recall applies to standard 120-volt convenience charge cords that could potentially lead to a fire.

Ford announced this week that it is recalling about 50,000 charge cords that were originally standard equipment with select 2012-15 Ford Focus Electric, 2013-15 Ford Fusion Energi, and 2013-15 Ford C-MAX Energi vehicles. Under certain conditions, these cords can cause high heat at the wall outlet, which could lead to a fire. The automaker admits that it is aware of some fire reports.

Keep in mind that InsideEVs does not suggest that you use a 120-volt outlet as a long-term method for home charging. These are more correctly referred to as occasional-use chargers. It shouldn’t be an issue for short-term applications, but upgrading is advised. If you plan to buy an electric vehicle, it’s important to do your homework and understand your responsibilities when it comes to charging at home. While it will cost you to have an electrician visit your home and install the necessary equipment, it will be well worth it in the end. You will enjoy faster, safer charging and not have to rely on a 120-volt cord, or possibly a questionable outlet, like the ones connected to Ford’s recall.

Visit our charger guide for more information, as well as a variety of articles about EV charging.

We’ve included the entire press release below:

FORD ISSUES TWO SAFETY RECALLS IN NORTH AMERICA

AUG 22, 2018 | DEARBORN, MICH.

 

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 22, 2018 – Ford is issuing two safety recalls in North America. Details are:

Select 2012-15 Ford Focus Electric, 2013-15 Ford Fusion Energi and 2013-15 Ford C-MAX Energi vehicles for 120-volt convenience charge cords

Ford is issuing a recall for approximately 50,000 120-volt convenience charge cords originally provided with select 2012-15 Ford Focus Electric, 2013-15 Ford Fusion Energi and 2013-15 Ford C-MAX Energi vehicles.

Using the 120-volt convenience charge cord originally provided with the affected vehicles with an AC outlet that is not on a dedicated circuit or is damaged, worn or corroded may result in increased temperature at the wall outlet and potentially lead to a fire.

Ford is aware of some fire reports.

Affected vehicles include:

  • 2012-15 Ford Focus Electric vehicles built at Michigan Assembly Plant, Sept. 15, 2011 through March 14, 2015
  • 2013-15 Ford Fusion Energi vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, Sept. 4, 2012 through March 5, 2015
  • 2013-15 Ford C-MAX Energi vehicles built at Michigan Assembly Plant, April 13, 2012 through March 14, 2015

There are approximately 50,524 vehicles in North America with accompanying charge cords relating to this concern, with 49,197 vehicles in the United States and its federalized territories and 1,327 in Canada. The Ford reference number for this recall is 18S24.

Owners will be notified by mail and reminded of the requirements for adequate wall outlets, and that extension cords should not be used under any circumstance to charge their vehicles. They will be instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford dealer to have the factory-equipped 120-volt convenience charge cord replaced with the latest version of the 120-volt convenience cord that includes a thermistor, free of charge. The thermistor can identify over-temperature conditions at the plug/outlet interface and will discontinue charging until the temperature decreases to an appropriate level.

 

Select 2018 Ford Edge, 2019 Ford Flex, 2018 Lincoln MKX and 2019 Lincoln MKT vehicles for improperly secured power supply cable fasteners

Ford is issuing a recall for approximately 100 2018 Ford Edge, 2019 Ford Flex, 2018 Lincoln MKX and 2019 Lincoln MKT vehicles that may not have the power supply cable fastener properly secured to the alternator or to the starter motor.

In the affected vehicles, if the nut used to fasten the power supply cable to the starter motor or alternator is not fully tightened or is cross threaded, the interface may not provide a secure connection. An improperly fastened power supply cable increases the potential for an electrical surge, which could lead to a fire.

Ford is not aware of any fires, accidents or injuries related to this condition.

Affected vehicles include 2018 Ford Edge, 2019 Ford Flex, 2018 Lincoln MKX and 2019 Lincoln MKT vehicles built at Oakville Assembly Plant on May 29, 2018.

There are approximately 87 vehicles in the United States and seven in Canada. The Ford reference number for this recall is 18S25.

Dealers will inspect the alternator and starter motor power supply cable nuts and studs for cross threading or damage and verify that the nuts are properly torqued using a torque wrench, at no charge to the customer.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 201,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Source: Ford

Categories: Ford

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29 Comments on "Ford Issues Safety Recalls In North America For 120-Volt Charging Cords"

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Another black-eye for Ford.

This is nothing and they are fixing it so nothing to worry about. Just like.the article say, most will not use L1 for every day charging anyway.

Still use L1 for daily driving since I only drive 30 miles a day plus i have another car if the juice is low if I had 200 mile ev

Mee too but will soon switch to L2. Getting tired of losing 5% in charging, not worth it especially when L2 stations are this cheap.

ffbj this isn’t a black eye – they are proactively taking corrective action for a problem they didn’t create. More detail on my lengthy comment further down.

Haha! Mentioned this yesterday that IEV’s would have an article on this eventually. This is basically the issue that the 2011 VOLT had. TO avoid silly ignition switch lawsuit comparisons, (GM really wasn’t at fault in that case as I’ve explained several times – that ANY other company would have avoided litigation since they’d say they can’t control what a customer may do, and any use of foreign keys or keys having nothing to do with proper operation of the car will void all warranties), GM was not at fault in 2011 with the occasional use cord, either. I had one of the early models – It having a perfectly fine AWG #16 cord plug stub, and then having a long AWG #16 long cord going to the car jack. I had it plugged into a substantial receptacle, and it ran far, far cooler than other manufacturer’s initial products which also caused some fires. The owner’s manual said their charging cord was 1). A high-power device. 2). Must be plugged into a heavy duty receptacle in good condition. 3). Recommended professional evaluation of the outlet, in questionable locations – if not GM also wisely offered a reduced current (8 rather… Read more »

I’d love to hear the moronic reason some idiot voted me 1 negative. I provided more useable info than the article.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Where are all the peeps that say “I’ll only buy a UL Listed or EVSE from the manufacturer because it’s safer”?????

HELLLLLLOOOOOO?!?!?!?

Hello – how about familiarizing yourself with the issue before you make indefensible statements? FORD in this case, IS, and always was BLAMELESS. They are proactively compensating for customer stupidity.

A UL-Listed cord (or other listing agencies such as CSA) cannot prevent fires in a customer’s fire trap receptacles.

UL doesn’t prevent idiots from misuse or questionable outlets…

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

That’s what I’m sayin. Some people say they don’t trust anything other than what the manufacturer sells and/or UL listed………LMAO.

They blast on OPENEVSE all the time about it.

Right. UL only tests electrical appliances (and cords) to make sure they can be used safely for the purpose for which they are designed. Nobody could possibly guarantee safe use under every possible condition of abuse!

“Keep in mind that InsideEVs does not suggest that you use a 120-volt outlet as a long-term method for home charging. These are more correctly referred to as occasional-use chargers. It shouldn’t be an issue for short-term applications, but upgrading is advised.”

It’s pretty clear to me that you guys get a lot of advertising dollars from Clipper Creek or whoever else and that’s compromised your journalism. Running L1 all the time is perfectly fine if you have a good outlet and nothing else on the circuit. There is nothing in the owner’s manual that says you can’t use a L1 every day.

I have a “recalled” FFE which I’ve exclusively charged on L1 for the past two years. I regularly check the plug and outlet during charging and it only gets slightly warm. Telling people they *have* to buy a L2 charger will only serve to slow EV adoption if their driving habits don’t require it.

We don’t get much money from any charging companies and it surely has not compromised our reporting. Yes, if you know what you’re doing and you pay attention to details and check things, you’ll likely be fine. Many people have no clue and are lazy. These fires that are forcing Ford to have to recall, were caused by people using L1 and not taking good care to check the outlet and make sure that everything is working properly. We never said in the post that you shouldn’t ever use L1. We said we do not suggest it. Inside EVS does not suggest it. If we did suggest it, and someone ended up with a fire, we’d feel horrible. We also suggested having an electrician that knows what they’re doing check your equipment. If you can check and take good care of your own equipment, then obviously you don’t need an electrician. Honestly, the thought that us not suggesting L1 might make someone go out and buy L2 never even crossed my mind. I could care less about the charging companies and whether or not they make money. I do care that people are safe. Nowhere in the article does it… Read more »
Ben has a point Steven. Why do you put “Upgrading is advised”, when Level One installations are perfectly safe? Also you have no idea what the situation is for everyone purchasing ev’s. A business may be able to offer one or two level one facilities, but may not be able to afford an upgrade required to supply a level 2 if that, in the particular location where the docking stations are desired. Level ONE is all that is required for Gov’t LEEDS incentives also. Under identical conditions, a Level One installation will be safer than a Level Two installation since the current is lower. My town recently bought the electrical inspector a brand new Chevy Volt. Of course I approve of that expenditure. What I don’t approve of is TWO 30 amp L2 installations at two locations with no public access? Room for future growth – yes – but by then the town will rip both of them out and put in something even more costly. In this particular case the town inspector rarely drives 20 miles per day. An existing outlet – or , if they wanted to do a first class job, a hard wired level one unit… Read more »

I’m not saying Ben is wrong. I’m also accounting for the fact that we don’t know people’s situations and the fact that some people are idiots, don’t have the knowledge you have, or may not check their outlets. I was simply letting Ben know that we didn’t say that to promote charging companies or to tell people to rush out and buy something. He was suggesting that we are slowing down EV adoption by trying to sell chargers. We have no motivation to sell anything. That thought didn’t even cross my mind. The thought that did cross my mind is some poor soul having an old, unchecked 120-volt outlet and plugging in only to wake up with a fire and now Ford having to recall. For this reason, InsideEVs has always “suggested” that people do their homework, have an electrician or someone that knows what they’re doing inspect the situation, and not recommended a 120-volt outlet as a long-term solution for most EV owners.

I disagree that people who purchase EV’s are automatically idiots. That’s a very unfair statement, – of course if people make moronic statements here then they are fair game of course. I would think most people who desire to purchase an Electric vehicle yet are not conversant with the details would Certainly at a minimum Read the Owner’s manual, which recommends a competent inspection of any proposed charging facilities. People have used Leafs and Volts every, and even on substantial extension cords kept out of the weather, are perfectly safe. Most of this is just common sense. Since the EV buyer has to usually pay MORE for an EV as opposed to the alternative, I’d say they are above average intelligence and can easily get assistance, or professional advice.. I’ve seen several UPSCALE homes have installed DEDICATED 120 volt receptacles (installed by a licensed electrician – as my particular town requires), that makes you wince a little bit – since the electrician told them it will charge faster – hehe – a claim I find a bit suspect, but at least there is no doubt the charging facility is perfectly safe. In that particular case they could convert to a… Read more »
I said and meant that there are “idiots” out there and people that don’t know, don’t do their homework, and make unsafe choices. Of course, a dedicated outlet that is in good working condition and has been checked by someone in the know is much different than one that may have caused the fire. Back to the original issue here. The point was we didn’t suggest having an electrician check things and consider upgrading in order to make money for any charging company. We suggested it because it’s a good idea. If we update the charging section, will more people accuse us of catering to the charging companies and being in their hands and having our editorial compromised in order to make money? Or, will people just fight in the comments that we’ve made bad choices in regards to what products are on there? Perhaps they’ll say we chose the products based on which company has offered the most money to pay our bills. Who knows … If you’d like to contribute to writing our charging guide, draft something up and send it to the site email. In addition, with your permission, of course, we could provide people with your… Read more »

Well, thanks for the offer, but when I offer an extended comment with plenty of meat in it, I get -25 votes, and zero positives, so any article I’d write would be immediately dismissed as:

1). Tin foil hat stuffed charging facilities.
2). Someone who knows nothing about this stuff – (even though I had to redesign 2 big problems out of the wall box I initially bought).
3). Obviously my wallbox choices would be part of a right wingnut conspiracy.

“Also you have no idea what the situation is for everyone purchasing ev’s.”

The problem is that nobody has any idea what the situation is going to be for any individual. Not all houses are built to the same standard, and not all 110-120v electrical circuits are built to handle the same number of amps.

As Steven correctly pointed out, everyone should get a licensed electrician to check the circuit which will be used for charging, before it’s used to charge an EV. If you’re a licensed electrician, then obviously you can do it yourself. Otherwise, it’s playing with fire to risk using an extension cord, rather than a proper EVSE, for daily charging of an EV.

+1

Nope – Wrong.

The original overheating Tesla Mobile Connector with the “S” that had the undersized, overheating plug 14-50p adapter would have been MUCH safer IF used with a short extension cord to keep the overheating plug a few feet AWAY from the building wiring.

Nope – extension cords can be perfectly safe. A Big Expert can misuse them of course. By the way, is your accusation that Superchargers that are permanently installed Have readily accessible disconnects, or are you saying that they don’t need legally need them?

Pointless comment Pushi, you’re just echoing what I just said without putting in any meaningful detail. Other than your supposition is wrong. Stores selling appliances have varying policies – some will not install appliances without a proper receptacle within reach of it. Other stores are perfectly fine with use of an “Appliance Duty Cord” – just a heavy extension cord which is perfectly safe, if kept out of water, away from flames, etc.

See what I mean Stephen – factual commentary get 0 positives, only negatives.

“It’s pretty clear to me that you guys get a lot of advertising dollars from Clipper Creek or whoever else and that’s compromised your journalism.”

Compromised? Is this “opposite day”? I was mentally giving Steven points for running an appropriately strong warning in the article!

An extension cord is not an EVSE, contrary to what you’re claiming. And just because any given individual has been able to get away with doing something that’s not safe, doesn’t mean that we should ignore safety. You might burn your house down tomorrow.

+1

Pushi: “…An extension cord is NOT an EVSE, contrary to what you’re claiming…”.

This seems like your SuperCharger statements – they are not in relation to anything I said.

Ben never said an extension cord is an EVSE. The fact that you CLAIM he said it means this discussion is really over your head.

What he did say is that the owner’s manual says the L1 charging is just as legitimate as any other form of charging. That he DID say, and contrary to what is the editorial opinion here that L1 is next to useless and unsafe – both claims are demonstrably false and are not the policy of automakers.

There is an issue with ANY tesla product in that it is uniquely a Tesla issue that there is at least a 30% efficiency penalty by using L1 that is an idiosyncracy with only their products and therefore, Teslas uniquely benefit from L2 charging – which is strictly a North American issue.

recalls are a good thing. They fix things for free.

Bash car makers for recalls and you get less free fixes and everybody suffers.

Bashing car makers for doing recalls is counter-productive for car owners. Bashing about recalls should be reserved for companies that FAIL to do recalls when they should have done a recall.

Hear, hear!