Ford Motor Companytold the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it will recall more than 1 million trucks to replace fuel tank straps.
The recall includes these units:
Ford F-150 from 1997 through 2004 model years.
Ford F-250 with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,500 pounds from 1997 through 1999 model years.
Lincoln Blackwood from 2002 and 2003 model years.
NHTSA explained these vehicles were manufactured from June 20, 1995 through Aug. 4, 2004 and were originally sold or currently registered in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island ,Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and District of Columbia.
Both NHTSA and Ford stated that the models involved were sold in cold-weather states where road salt can cause straps metal straps holding up the tanks to rust. If the straps break, the tanks can hit the ground, rupture and catch fire. Regulators began investigating the problem back in September. The defect has been blamed for eight fires, three of which spread to the rest of the truck. One person was injured, suffering first and second degree burns.
Ford will notify owners in September to bring their trucks to dealers. Mechanics will replace the straps with new ones coated to resist corrosion. Ford said that parts to fix the problem won’t be widely available until then. People with questions should contact their dealer, who can install a cable to hold the tanks in place until the replacement straps arrive. They also can contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332 1-866-436-7332 .