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Ford trucks are probed by safety agency for stalling

Mar 3, 2006 | Bloomberg News

Ford Motor Co. trucks are being examined by the National Highway Safety Administration for an engine problem that may cause stalling in vehicles such as the F- series pickup, the industry's top-seller.

The NHTSA review will cover about 700,000 vehicles, including the Excursion, F-250 and F-350, and E Series vans and pickups from model years 1999 through 2001, the agency said today on its Web site. The probe was prompted by 31 complaints that the vehicles, all of which have 7.3-liter diesel engines, stopped running because of an engine-sensor failure.

Three minor crashes were linked to the problem, the agency said, all of them caused by reduced steering and braking in the vehicle after it stalled.

Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said the Dearborn, Michigan- based company is working with the agency. Last year, Ford, the second-biggest U.S. automaker, recalled 2003 through 2005 models of the same trucks with 6-liter diesel engines for similar problems.

The safety administration begins its safety reviews with a preliminary investigation that advances to an engineering analysis in about 25 percent of cases. The rest are closed without further review. About 70 percent of the upgraded investigations result in recalls.

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