Recall: Your Ford Expedition Could Have a Dangerous Seat Belt Problem

Ford may currently be producing face masks to support the nation’s front-line workers, but it’s also looking out for its traditional car-buying public. Recently, Ford announced a recall for one of its most popular SUVs, the Ford Expedition.

While you may not be driving your family’s Expedition much in today’s conditions, it could be affected by this recall. Before you venture back to your normal driving habits, you may need to look into a dangerous problem with your seat belts.

The 2020 Ford Expedition has plenty to offer

Topping many of the review lists already, the 2020 Ford Expedition impressed everyone right out of the gate. New for 2020, the Ford Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver assistance features is standard across all variations.

Along with the SUV’s cavernous interior cargo and passenger space and segment-topping towing capabilities, consumers began buying these capable, family rides almost immediately. For those who may have considered an Expedition this year, it’s still a good buy. However, taking care of this latest recall would need to be prioritized.

The recent recall announcement

There are 1,368 models of the 2020 Ford Expedition included in the recent Ford recall announcement. Those models were assembled at Ford’s Kentucky truck plant between November 27th through December 7th of 2019, are affected. The front passenger seatbelt sensor is malfunctioning and may result in the airbag not deploying during a crash.

The failure occurs when the sensors misinterpret the weight of the passenger, meaning someone could very well be sitting there, but the airbag won’t deploy, having received a misinformed sensor response to improper weight and size calculations.

What makes this failure so dangerous

The passenger seatbelts themselves aren’t improperly installed. Rather, the belt tension sensor, designed to classify the sizes and weights of the passengers, can malfunction. Normally, the airbag warning lights would illuminate, letting the occupants know the airbag won’t be deploying without enough weight in the seat, but with this malfunction, the airbag light isn’t lighting up properly. This can be especially dangerous because the occupant may presume the airbag will deploy in an accident, when in fact, it won’t.

For now, it appears Ford may have discovered the seatbelt tension sensor issue before any major catastrophes. Ford officials announced at the launch of the recall that they were unaware of any crash or injury reports due to these failures. Hopefully, by alerting the public now before drivers begin to return to their everyday driving habits, the recall can prevent potential injuries.

What you can do if you own one of these Ford Expedition models

If you own a 2020 Ford Expedition and aren’t sure if your model is specifically included, there are resources available to you. Expedition owners can visit the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration website to enter their vehicle’s VIN. There, information is available to review the details and suggestions for the recall. Or, owners can call Ford directly at (866) 436-7332 and mention recall reference number, 20S17.

While Ford maintains it will handle the repairs and replacements necessary for this recall, there isn’t a specific timeline yet to begin. Dealerships are prepared to replace the front passenger seat belt buckles, however. So, if you feel your 2020 Ford Expedition may be affected and you live in an area with continued social distancing requirement, contact your local dealership anyway. The Ford dealership in your area may be offering pickup and delivery service for maintenance and repairs.

If you haven’t yet purchased your new Ford Expedition, you certainly can. But you may want to inquire about the status of the seatbelt-related recall before you drive off the lot.