October 14, 2009 Ford recall 4.5 million vehicles due to a faulty cruise control switch that could lead to a fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this was the eighth recall, involving a total of 16 million Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) vehicles, concerning the cruise control deactivation switch manufactured by Texas Instruments (TXN, Fortune 500).
The faulty switch can leak hydraulic fluid, overheat, smoke and then burn, and risks causing a fire even when the ignition is turned off, parked and unattended, the NHTSA said.
The risk is elevated for 1.1 million Windstars that were subject to a government investigation, said Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood. “We determined with the government that there is a low risk of fires for those vehicles,” Sherwood said. “The other 3.4 million vehicles are the remaining vehicles that have the Texas Instrument switch, so we’re recalling them to reassure customers and prevent future recalls.”
Sherwood added that Ford has always gone beyond recalling only the cars that present a risk. While the company does not discuss its current suppliers, Sherwood said that Ford vehicles did not use the Texas Instrument switch in post-2003 models.
NHTSA said Ford drivers should look for warnings of possible imminent fires, including malfunctioning cruise control systems and brake lights and antilock braking system and brake light warnings on the dashboard. The safety agency also said difficulty in getting the vehicle out of the park mode should be treated as a warning.
“I urge customers to pay attention to this warning and bring the affected models in to have them repaired as soon as possible,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in a statement.
Ford is notifying customers and instructing them to take vehicles to dealers for a complimentary installation of a fused wiring harness that will eliminate the risk of fires, the NHTSA said.
The safety recall is expected to begin around Oct. 26. Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673 or NTHSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit http://www.safercar.gov.
Tuesday’s recall includes the following Ford models: 1995-2003 Windstars, 2000-2003 Excursion diesels, 1993-1997 and 1999-2003 F-Super Duty diesels, 1992-2003 Econolines, 1995-2002 Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Rangers and 1994 F35 motorhomes.
Previous Recall Information:
Fri Aug 3, 2007 5:43PM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co is recalling as many as 3.6 million vehicles because a switch that deactivates the speed control can overheat, smoke or burn, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday.
The highway safety agency said in a notice that the switch problem could result in a fire under the hood.
The Ford vehicles being recalled are F-Series and Ranger pickup trucks, Explorer, Bronco and Mountaineer SUVs, Econoline vans and some Crown Victoria, Town Car, Grand Marquis, Capri, Mark VII and Taurus Sho cars with model years ranging from 1992 to 2004, depending upon the particular vehicle.
Ford recalled nearly 6.2 million vehicles in 2005 and 2006 because of engine fires linked to a faulty speed control deactivation switch.
Dan Jarvis, a spokesman for Ford, said the company was recalling the vehicles to alleviate customer concerns.
“We have not seen a high incidence of fires in this population,” Jarvis said, adding that there were a few reports of fires in Crown Victoria passenger cars. He declined to specify the exact number of fires.
Ford´s recall comes as the second-largest U.S. automaker is trying to stem steep losses in its North American automotive operations. The company lost $279 million in North America in the second-quarter before taxes.
Ford dealers will install a fused wiring harness into the speed control system to solve the problem, the company said.