Ford recalls 1.1 million pickups for fuel tank issues

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Ford F-150

A 2003 Ford F-150, subject to recall in colder states. Image: MCS@flickr/Flickr/CC BY

Ford Motor Company announced Monday that it will be recalling 1.1 million pickups, including the F150, its most popular model in the U.S. The recall concerns corrosion of the fuel tank straps. If the fuel tank falls, there is a risk of fire.

Investigation by auto safety regulator

The recall comes following a 2010 investigation by the U.S. auto safety regulator. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the recall Monday on its website.

‘Presents a fire hazard’

The NHTSA said, “The straps that support the fuel tank can rust and break, possibly dropping the tank and causing a fuel leak. Leaking gasoline presents a fire hazard.” The agency also noted 243 reports of fuel tanks dropping below the vehicle, nine of which involved sparks.

Older models with high mileage

Ford spokesman Wesley Sherwood said the trucks being recalled are older vehicles with heavy mileage, registered in 21 states and the District of Columbia. The recalled vehicles may have fuel tank straps that “can corrode after operation for extended periods of time in high-corrosion areas.”  In this case, “high-corrosion areas” refers to localities with colder climates and harsher winters. The fuel tank straps on some Ford pickups corrode faster after coming into contact with road deicers.

Specific vehicles targeted

Specific vehicles targeted include F-150s from 1997 to 2004; F-250s from 1997 to 1999; and Lincoln Blackwoods from 2002 to 2003.

Sherwood said the recall would begin on Sept. 12. Owners will be notified that Ford dealerships will replace their fuel tank straps with new, anti-corrosive ones free of charge. Those affected can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or the NHTSA at 888-327-4236.

Ford recall earlier this year

Ford has faced other recall issues this year. In February, the automaker recalled 150,000 F-150s, model years 2005 to 2006, because of defects that can cause the driver’s side airbag to suddenly deploy.  In April, that recall was expanded to include 2004 F-150s, as well as the 2006 Lincoln MarkLT, for a total of 1.2 million vehicles.


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