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Away From Home

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ford vehicles a fire risk

It seems that a $20 cruise-control deactivation switch in many Ford vehicles is a fire risk (CNN.com)

Several fire investigators hired by major insurance companies and auto engineers consulted by CNN say the switch is causing some Ford vehicles to ignite.

The $20.57 switch shuts off the cruise control when the driver firmly steps on the brakes. The switch is located under the hood of the vehicle and is attached to the brake master cylinder on one end and wired to the cruise control on the other.

On most of its models, Ford designed the switch to be powered -- or "hot" -- at all times, even when the vehicle is off and the key is removed from the ignition.

Inside the switch, a thin film barrier separates brake fluid from the switch's electrical components. Investigators say fires can occur when the film cracks and brake fluid from the master cylinder seeps into the electrical side of the switch.

Ford has already recalled more than 1 million vehicles in two separate
recalls to replace the switch.

Here's the list of affected vehicles (Dad, Mother, pay attention):

Mark VII/VIII from 1994-1998
Taurus/Sable and Taurus SHO 2.3 L 1993-1995
Econoline 1992-2003
F-Series 1993-2003
Windstar 1994-2003
Explorer without IVD 1995-2003
Explorer Sport/Sport Trac 2002-2003
Expedition 1997-2003
Ranger 1995-2003

2004 and newer vehicles do not use this switch, so they are unaffected.


  • The Pinto, the Classic Mustang, the Crown Victoria and now this. Methinks that fire is something that Ford just enjoys the presence thereof.

    By Blogger Logan C. Adams, at 6/17/2005 07:37:00 PM  

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