After the NHTSA inspected nearly 2.7 million trucks last year, Ford has decided to issue a recall for selected F-150 and F-250 trucks. All owners of F-150s and F-250s that fall within the category of recall vehicles that the company has announced should pay careful attention, as these vehicles have a defective design which means that they may be at an increased risk of accident, breakdown or injury for the driver. Read on for a brief overview of the nature of the latest recall from Ford.
Vehicles Affected By the Recall
There are a total of 1.1 million trucks affected by this recall, representing a fairly large segment of the Ford customer population. The vehicles that are specifically in question are from the F-Series. Ford F-150 vehicles manufactured for the 1997-2003 model years, or the 2004 F-150 Heritage Edition, are being recalled at this time. Those 1997-1999 Ford F-250 vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating under 8500 pounds are also being recalled, as are 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwoods.
Specifically, the trucks that are being recalled were originally sold or distributed in cold-weather states around the country. This means that vehicles purchased in other locations may not be affected by the recall. The following states are affected: 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 Washington, D.C.
Nature of the Defect
Ford has recently completed an extensive 11-month study on the basic steel frame of the vehicles in question. The initial investigation was designed to determine whether the steel straps that hold the fuel tanks in place on these trucks could corrode and break over time. Based on the results of the investigation, the company has determined that exposure to standard de-icing materials on roads can in fact cause corrosion on the steel straps. If the fuel tank becomes partially or fully detached, the lines can break and a fire or explosion can occur. There were a total of 8 official reports of tanks becoming detached, 3 of which included injuries to the drivers or passengers of those vehicles.
Procedure for Owners
Owners can take their vehicles in to a local Ford dealer to have them install replacement straps that are resistant to corrosion. The dealer may also install a cable support for the existing straps until new straps become available, if necessary. Owners of these vehicles should first identify and inspect the fuel tank straps at home. Look for signs of rust or other damage to the fuel tank straps; if you see any visible damage, take the vehicle in for professional inspection and strap replacement immediately so that you avoid the risk of a fuel tank detachment problem while you’re on the road.