Sun, Aug 05, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Ford announces recall of 3.6m cars

CRUISE SWITCH CONTROL The recall was the US car manufacturer's sixth since 1999 and includes more than a dozen vehicle models built from 1992 to 2004


Ford Motor Co said it is recalling 3.6 million passenger cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles (SUV) and vans to address concerns about a cruise control switch that has led to previous recalls based on reports of fires.

Ford said on Friday the recall covered more than a dozen vehicle models built from 1992 to 2004. The company said it was responding to concerns from owners about the safety of their cars and questions about the speed control deactivation switch in the vehicles that is powered at all times.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker had previously recalled nearly 6 million vehicles beginning in January 2005 because of engine fires linked to the cruise control systems in trucks, SUVs and vans.

"Customers remain concerned about the long-term durability of the speed control system and about the safety of their vehicles,'' said Ford spokesman Dan Jarvis.

He said the automaker had received "a few reports of fires" in Ford Crown Victoria passenger cars prior to the recall. He did not have a precise number.

The recall involves the following vehicles: 1998 to 2002 Ford Ranger; 1992 to 1997 Lincoln Town Car; 1992 to 1997 Ford Crown Victoria; 1992 to 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis; 1993 to 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII; 1993 to 1995 Taurus SHO; 1999 to 2001 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer.

Also covered are the 2001 to 2002 Ford Explorer Sport; 2001 to 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac; 1992 to 1993 E150-350 vans; 1997 to 2002 E150-350 vans; 1993 Ford F-Series pickups; 1993 Ford Bronco; 1994 Mercury Capri; 2003 to 2004 Ford F-150 Lightning; and 1995 to 2002 Ford F53 motor homes.

An additional 177,000 vehicles in Canada, Mexico and Europe are covered by the recall.

Jarvis said there have been no deaths, injuries or accidents associated with the recall.

It was Ford's sixth recall, involving a total of more than 10.4 million vehicles, conducted since 1999 because of problems with the speed control system, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

The largest single US recall involved 7.9 million Ford vehicles in 1996 to replace an ignition switch.

Texas Instruments Inc (TI) supplied the speed control switch in all of the vehicles covered under Friday's announcement, Ford said.

TI spokeswoman Chris Rongone said on Friday evening in an e-mail response that the company sold its former Sensors and Controls business in April last year. It later became Sensata Technologies. She said neither TI, nor Sensata Technologies, has received any communication from Ford about the recall and nothing indicates the switch failed to meet Fords specifications.

Rongone said in August last year that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded a two-year investigation and determined that the incidents were system-related and not caused by the deactivation switch.

Owners will begin receiving recall notices on Aug. 13. Jarvis said the parts for passenger cars would not be available until early October. In the meantime, owners can take their vehicle to a dealer to have their cruise control deactivated until the parts arrive. The parts are available for trucks, Jarvis said.

Dealers will install a fused wiring harness into the speed control electrical system or replace the deactivation switch if its found to be leaking.

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