Automakers are installing an increasing array of passive and active safety features on their cars, but the most essential of them are still the seatbelts; if those aren’t working, there’s little point in all the rest. And they’re not working on certain examples of the Ford Fusion and its luxed-up counterpart, the Lincoln MKZ. So Ford’s recalling over 680,000 of them.
According to the manufacturer, the problem comes down to the seatbelt anchor pretensioner, which is supposed to tighten the seatbelt in the event of a crash. Instead the pretensioner may allow the cable to separate under the “increased temperatures generated during deployment of the seat belt anchor pretensioner.”
The long and short of it is that the seatbelts may not keep the occupants in place in a crash – which is their #1 job. That’s happened at least in two accidents, resulting in two injuries. Thus, Dearborn has issued a recall for 680,872 examples of the 2013-16 Ford Fusion and 2013-15 Lincoln MKZ in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and various US federalized territories.
The vast majority of those (602,739 units) are located in the United States. Said vehicles will have to be brought into dealers to have a special coating applied to the seatbelt pretensioners.
Together with this recall, Ford has announced another for the 2017 Fusion. This one affects a much smaller number of 27 vehicles, which will need to have the left-rear second-row seatback frames replaced due to improperly welded pivot pins.