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Ford Recalls 4.5 Million Vehicles Due To Defective Switch

Ford Motor Co. said this week it will recall another 4.5 million vehicles in addition to the ones already recalled because a defective cruise control switch could cause a fire. Here are excerpts from a Washington Post article about the recall:

The latest voluntary action pushes Ford’s total recall due to faulty switches to 14.3 million registered vehicles over 10 years, capping the company’s largest cumulative recall in history involving a single problem.

The recall covers 1.1 million Ford Windstar minivans that had a small risk of fire due to internal leaking from the switches. The remaining 3.4 million vehicles are Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. Ford said there were no reports of fires with those models, most of them trucks and sport utility vehicles, but that they were included in the recall because they use the same switches. All vehicles covered by the recall are from the 1992 to 2003 model years.

Ford advised owners of all vehicles covered by the recall to park them outside until they are mailed instructions by the end of the month on how to get repairs.

Investigators found that the switches, made by Texas Instruments, could leak internally, overheat and potentially ignite. NHTSA also identified four reports of leaking fluid damaging the antilock brake control module, resulting in a fire. The module is charged with electrical current and can ignite the fluid in rare cases, said Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood.

Even some vehicles without cruise control are part of the recall because they still have the switches with brake fluid routed through them. To repair the problem, dealers will install a harness to help prevent the fluid from flowing anywhere it could be ignited.

Ford stopped using the Texas Instruments switch in 2003, according to Sherwood. The latest group of vehicles recalled is the last batch still on the road that had the switch installed.

The recall covers the following model years: 1995-2003 Ford Windstar; 2000-2003 Ford Excursion diesel; 1993-1997 and 1999-2003 Ford F-Super Duty diesel; 1992-2003 Ford Econoline; 1995-2002 Ford Explorer; 1995-2002 Mercury Mountaineer; 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Ford Ranger; and 1994 Ford F35 Motorhome vehicles.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

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