Ford Motor Company is recalling 1.1 million pick-up trucks because their fuel tanks can fall off and cause a fire, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
The NHTSA said one or both of the steel straps that attach the fuel tanks to the truck frame could be severely corroded after long exposure to road deicing chemicals and eventually break. If one strap breaks, the tank would tilt and possibly contact the road. If both break, the entire tank could drop to the road.
“As a result of the corrosion, one or both straps may fail, allowing the fuel lines to separate from the tank or, in some cases, causing the tank to contact the ground,” NHTSA said. “Either scenario may result in a fuel leak presenting a safety hazard.”
As of recent, Ford reported there had only been eight incidents caused by the fault, including three vehicle fires and one injury.
The other four were fires that were self-extinguished or onlookers were able to put out, Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood told the Financial Times.
The ford recall, expected to begin September 12, 2011, covers 1997 – 2003 F-150 trucks, some 1997 through 1999 F-250’s, and some 2002 and 2003 Lincoln Blackwood pickup trucks.
Ford dealers will replace the fuel tank straps – free of charge – with straps that have stronger corrosion protection.
For more information, Ford owners can call the following phone number: 1-866-436-7332.