Ford recalls Fusion for seatbelt, seat issues

About 681,000 cars affected by faulty front seatbelt pretensioners

Published: December 4, 2016, 9:30 PM
Updated: December 8, 2016, 4:45 AM

2015 Ford Fusion

Ford is recalling Fusion sedans for two separate issues involving seats and seatbelt systems.

2016 Lincoln MKZ

An extensive recall of sedans dating back to 2013 is meant to address an issue with the front seatbelt anchor pretensioners, the safety feature that snugs up seatbelts in preparation for a crash to eliminate excessive body movement in relation to crash forces.

The devices work in a manner similar to the way an airbag works, with an explosion that triggers a device to quickly yank the buckle assembly downward. It deploys just prior to the airbag deployment.

In the recalled cars, the increased temperatures generated during the deployment could cause the pretensioning cables to separate, which would prevent them from working in the way they need to, and therefore not protect the seat occupant properly and increase the risk of injury in the ensuing crash. Ford is aware of two incidents involving the issue, resulting in two injuries.

Dealers will inject an insulator into the seatbelt anchor pretensioners to coat the cables to protect them from the increased temperatures without hampering their operation.

2016 Ford Fusion - The Ford Fusion is immensely popular in Canada and a key pillar in Ford’s car line-up. At the end of 2015, it was in second place on the mid-size car sales chart. Five months later it had slipped to fourth on the heels of a 23% drop in sales. Change was in order. Fortunately, the 2017 Fusion gets a mid-cycle makeover. There are only slight styling updates for what is arguably the best-looking affordable sedan on the market.

It affects Fusions from model years 2013-16, Lincoln MKZs from 2013-2015 and Ford Mondeos from 2015-16. It affects 680,872 cars, 602,739 of which are in the United States, 35,614 in Canada, 8,665 in Mexico and 653 in US territories.

Meanwhile 2017 Fusions are being recalled to replace the seatback frame in the rear left seat (the wider part of the 60/40 split/folding rear seatback), which may have been produced with improperly welded pivot pins. The improperly fabricated structure might not restrain cargo in the trunk in the event of a crash, which might result in injury to cabin occupants (though Ford is not aware of any incidents or injuries).

2017 Ford Fusion trunk

Just 27 cars are affected and only 2 in Canada. Dealers will replace the seatback.