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Ford Recalling More Than One Million Pickups Due to Fire Hazard

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August 1, 2011

Ford Motor Company is recalling more than one million pickup trucks because corrosion of straps holding the fuel tank can cause the fuel lines to separate from the tank, or the tank to drop down onto the road. Leaking fuel could catch fire, especially if the vehicle is in motion and dragging of the metal gas tank creates sparks.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) first opened an investigation into this equipment defect in September 2010 after receiving 32 complaints about corrosion of the straps holding the gas tank, then upgraded the investigation in May 2011 to include about 2.7 million trucks from model years 1997-2001.

“Among the incidents reported to NHTSA or Ford, 243 involved the fuel tank dropping below the vehicle and/or dragging on the ground, 95 involved fuel leakage and nine included reports of sparks from the tank being dragged on the road,” the NHTSA said in May.

Ford is aware of three fires and one injury related to the defect.

The recall affects the following vehicles:

Model

Assembly Plant

Model Years

Build Dates

F-150

Cuautitlan

1998- 2003

12/19/1997 to 8/15/2003

F-150 Heritage

Cuautitlan

2004

5/12/2003 to 8/4/2004

F-150

Kansas City

1997- 2003

7/24/1995 to 6/27/2003

F-250 U-8500

Kansas City

1997-1999

4/9/1996 to 8/24/1999

F-150

Michigan

1997-1998

5/11/1996 to 5/10/1997

F-250 U-8500

Michigan

1997

5/11/1996 to 7/22/1996

F-150

Norfolk

1997- 2003

6/20/1995 to 5/15/2003

F-250 U-8500

Norfolk

1997-1999

1/25/1996 to 7/27/1999

F-150

Ontario

1997 – 2003

8/16/1996 to 8/27/2003

F-250 U-8500

Ontario

1997- 1999

8/16/1996 to 8/23/1999

F-150 Heritage

Ontario

2004

5/21/2003 to 6/29/2004

Lincoln Blackwood

Kansas City

2002-2003

9/25/2000 to 8/31/2002

The 1.1 million pickups were either originally sold in or are currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia or Wisconsin.

“Ford is voluntarily taking this action as a safety recall to address the agency’s concern and to respond to any potential customer concerns,” the carmaker said in a letter to the NHTSA.

Owners of the affected vehicles will receive a letter from Ford in mid-September instructing them to take their pickup to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for a free repair. The dealer will replace the gas tank straps with more durable straps or add a permanent steel reinforcement over the old straps. If the dealer does not have the parts available, they will install a temporary cable support.