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Ford recalls 50,000 car charging cables over fire risk

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The company is ‘aware of some fire reports.’

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Ford is recalling just over 50,000 charging cables for its plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles out of concern that they could lead to a fire, the company announced today. The 120-volt cables being recalled — which allow the cars to be plugged into a standard home outlet — were sold with certain Ford Focus Electrics, Fusion Energis, and C-Max Energis from the following years and assembly plants:

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

Affected owners will be notified by mail, Ford says, and they’ll have to get a new 120-volt charge cord from a dealer. The new cords will include a “thermistor,” which enables them to stop charging if it detects overheating in a plug or outlet, free of charge. Ford will also send owners a reminder of the “requirements for adequate wall outlets.”

Ford says it is “aware of some fire reports,” but it declined to elaborate on how many, or the nature of the fires. The company said in a press release that using the original cord “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.” Two C-Max Energis caught fire while charging in the span of a year in Florida, though it’s unclear if these are the reports Ford is talking about. To date, Ford has sold over 100,000 Focus Electrics, Fusion Energis, and C-Max Energis combined.