DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 7 – Ford Motor Company announced today that it is conducting a voluntary safety recall on 1994-2002 Ford F-150, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and Ford Bronco vehicles to correct a systems interaction that could cause the speed control deactivation switch to overheat and lead to an underhood fire. Ford estimates that there are approximately 3.8 million of these vehicles on the road today in the U.S.
The make and model years of affected vehicles include: 1994-2002 Ford F-150s, 1997-2002 Ford Expeditions, 1998-2002 Lincoln Navigators and 1994-1996 Ford Broncos equipped with factory-installed speed control.
Ford has worked closely with NHTSA to investigate this issue. Ford’s investigation found that brake fluid may leak through the speed control deactivation switch into the speed control system electrical components, potentially corroding them. In rare cases, the corrosion in the electrical components can lead to increasing resistance and higher electrical current flow through the system. Together, these conditions could lead to overheating and, possibly, a fire at the switch. This system interaction is the result of the close proximity and orientation of the speed control components in the recalled vehicles.
To address this issue, Ford will install a fused wiring harness between the speed control deactivation switch and the speed control mechanism of the affected vehicles. This will act as a circuit breaker, eliminating the electrical current to the switch in the rare event of increased current flow through the switch.
"Our customers can be confident that this action will prevent a speed control deactivation switch fire," said Ray Nevi, assistant director, Ford Automotive Safety Office. " Our investigation was complex because the root cause turned out to be a system interaction rather than a single component and we had very few confirmed incidents to analyze. Despite this complexity, our solution effectively addresses the cause."
Ford is in the process of acquiring sufficient fused wiring harnesses to repair customers’ vehicles. Until replacement parts are available, customers are instructed to take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealership to have the speed control deactivated.
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail immediately. Owners who have not already had their previously recalled 2000 model-year vehicles repaired should contact their dealers to make arrangements for the repair.
Customers may get further information at www.genuineservice.com or they may contact Ford’s Customer Relationship Center at 1 – 888-222-2751. For a videotape message about the recall, customers may visit www.ford.com under the "Vehicle and Services" heading and then either the "Safety" tab or the "Owners" tab.