About 1.1 million Ford pickup trucks have been recalled due to defective gas tanks, which could fall off and burst into flames.
The Ford pickup truck recall was announced on Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after a year-long investigation into reports of Ford F-150s dragging sparking gas tanks behind them.
The NHTSA reports that the metal straps that hold the gas tank to the body can corrode and fail, which may allow the fuel line to separate from the gas tank, or could cause the gas tank to fall and rupture. In both cases, there is a risk of the vehicle catching fire.
Eight fires have been linked to the defective gas tank straps. In three of the cases, the entire truck burst into flames. There has been at least one injury related to the recalled Ford pickup truck gas tank straps.
The recall affects certain Ford F-150 pickup trucks from model years 1997 through 2004, certain Ford F-250 trucks from model years 1997 through 1999 with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,500 lbs., and 2002-2003 model year Lincoln Blackwood vehicles.
The NHTSA said the problem may be worse in states that use deicing chemicals on the roads, which can increase the rate of corrosion. The recalled vehicles were originally sold in, or are now registered in 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.
The recall comes just months after another Ford F-150 recall was issued for 144,000 vehicles due to air bag problems. That recall led to a heated debate between Ford and the NHTSA, which suggested that the company should have recalled 1.3 million trucks.
The NHTSA reports that Ford will begin notifying affected owners in September. The current straps will be replaced with more corrosion-resistant straps. In the interim, owners can have dealers install a cable support under the current straps until replacement straps become available. Owners with questions can call the Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332. The recall campaign number is 11S21.
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