Ford issues massive recall
4.5 million vehicles recalled to address fire hazard
For the eighth time in recent years, Ford Motor Co. is recalling millions of vehicles to fix a faulty cruise-control switch that can overheat and start a fire, even when the vehicle is parked and unattended.
The latest in a series of too-little, too-late recalls affects 1.1 million Ford Windstar minivans, model years 1995 through 2003, that could have the problem, as well as 3.4 million additional vehicles that have the switch, including Ford Excursions, Explorers and Rangers of various model years, going back as far as 1992.
The latest recall affects these models:
Ford dealers will install a new fused wiring harness and inspect the ABS control connector when the recall begins on or about Oct. 26. Owners may contact Ford at (888) 222-2751.
Ford and federal regulators have known about the problem for years but have issued narrowly focused recalls that have left thousands of consumers at risk. Ford has already recalled 12 million vehicles because of the fire hazard associated with the speed-control system in the vehicles.
One Ford Windstar owner in Rosewood Heights, Ill., reported to ConsumerAffairs.com that her 1996 minivan caught fire and is a total loss. "It was parked in my driveway beside my house. I was not home at the time of the fire and I had driven the vehicle earlier. When I returned home later in the afternoon all of the windows were black," she said.
Ford said in a statement, "While the data show the majority of the vehicles being recalled do not pose a significant safety risk, we are recalling the vehicles to reassure customers and eliminate any future concerns."
As many as 1.64 million Windstars were produced by Ford between 1995 and 2003. They and other vehicles in the latest recall were not included in earlier massive Ford recalls of vehicles in danger of catching fire because of a faulty cruise-control switch.
In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported receiving 134 consumer complaints of engine compartment fires in the Windstar. The agency also reported that Ford has received 285 complaints of engine compartment fires in Windstars. The automaker has also responded to 137 warranty claims after engine compartment fires in the minivan, according to the NHTSA Web site.
NHTSA reported that two Windstar owners alleged that vehicle fires spread to their homes, causing structural damage.
According to the NHTSA Web site, 36 consumers claimed the Windstar fire occurred while the vehicle was parked. Another 72 consumers said the fire started while their Ford Windstar was running.
Ford plans to notify vehicle owners starting at the end of the month. In the meantime, the automaker suggests owners of all the recalled vehicles park outdoors until they are serviced.
Related reading at ConsumerAffairs.com:
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
These airlines have taken a la carte flying to a new level, charging for everything you can think of and then some.