Consumer Advisory: NHTSA Warns Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Owners of Fire Hazards Involving Faulty Cruise Control Switches in Recalled Vehicles That Have Not Been Repaired


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Washington DC February 28, 2008; Owners of Recalled Vehicles are Urged to Bring Vehicles to Dealers Immediately to Disconnect Faulty Switches

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today urged owners of certain unrepaired Ford, Lincoln and Mercury SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and certain passenger cars that contain a safety defect to bring their vehicles to dealer repair shops immediately to have the cruise control switch disconnected. Many dealers will perform this as a “drive through” service so owners do not have to leave their vehicles at the dealership or schedule an appointment in advance.

Failure to have the switch disconnected could lead to a vehicle fire at any time, whether or not the key is in the ignition, and whether or not owners use the cruise control system. The safety agency said the fire danger is present regardless of the age of the vehicle, and could even occur while the vehicle is parked and unattended. Several dwelling fires have been attributed to the problem.

NHTSA said it is issuing the consumer advisory due to concerns that many owners have yet to respond to multiple safety defect recall notifications involving approximately 9.6 million registered vehicles. It said that approximately five million vehicles have been repaired so far, leaving some five million passenger cars and light trucks with the faulty switches intact, and in danger of catching fire.

Ford and NHTSA urged all owners of recalled vehicles that have not been repaired to bring their vehicles to dealers as soon as possible to have the faulty switches disconnected, as an interim safety measure. Ford is in the process of re-notifying owners of the SUVs and other light trucks concerning the importance of having the switch disconnected.

This interim fix will eliminate the risk of fire while affected Ford and Mercury owners are waiting for final repairs from the company, NHTSA said.

The involved vehicles are:
1. 1993 – 2004 F150
2. 1993 – 1999 F250 (gasoline engine)
3. 1993 – 1996 Bronco
4. 1994 – 1996 Econoline
5. 1997 – 2002 Ford Expedition
6. 1998 – 2002 Lincoln Navigator
7. 1998 – 2002 Ford Ranger
8. 1992 – 1998 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car
9. 1993 – 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII
10. 1993 – 1995 Ford Taurus SHO with automatic transmission
11. 1994 – Mercury Capri
12. 1998 – 2001 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer
13. 2001 – 2002 Ford Explorer Sport and Explorer Sport Trac
14. 1992 – 1993 and 1997 – 2003 Ford E-150-350 gasoline or natural gas vehicles
15. 2002 – E-550 gasoline engine vehicles
16. 1996 – 2003 E-450 gasoline or natural gas vehicles
17. 1994 – 2002 F-250 through F-550 super Duty trucks (gasoline engine)
18. 2000 – 2002 Ford Excursion (gasoline engine)
19. 2003 – F250 – F550 Super Duty, Ford Excursion
20. 1995 – 2002 Ford F53 Motor home chassis
21. 2002 – 2003 Lincoln Blackwood

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