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Latest Ford Recall Issued After Engine Defect Linked to 14 Accidents

Dec 10, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP

Yet another Ford recall was announced last week for more than 1 million trucks, SUVs and vans.  Ford said it issued the recall because of a defect that could cause the engines of these vehicles to unexpectedly stall and lead to a possible crash.  According to Ford, there have been 14 reports of sudden accidents related to this defect.   This is the second massive Ford recall since August, when the company recalled millions of other vehicles because of a faulty cruise control switch.

The Ford recall encompasses 1.2 million trucks, SUVs and vans from the 1997-2003 model years with 7.3 liter diesel engines.   The recall includes Ford E-Series van, Excursion full-size sport utility vehicle, and F-450 Super Duty and F-550 Super Duty trucks.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the camshaft position sensor - an electrical component that helps regulate the fuel going into the engine- located on the engine could function intermittently and lead to an engine stall and potential crash.

While fourteen accidents have been caused by the defective Ford engines, so far, no one has been injured.  A Ford spokesperson told the Associated Press that in the event of an engine stall, drivers traveling in the recalled Ford vehicles at speeds greater than 30 miles per hour would have full power steering and power braking, allowing them to pull over to the side of the road. At speeds below 30 mph, the motorists would still have braking and steering functions, the spokesperson said.

Ford said that owners  of the recalled vehicles will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealer to have their vehicles inspected, and if necessary repaired. There will be no charge to owners for this service.  The notifications for this latest Ford recall will be sent in phased mailings between mid-Dec and end of May, Ford said.

This is the second Ford recall since August, when the company recalled 3.6 million vehicles because a faulty cruise control switch could be a fire hazard. The same problem with the cruise control switch was responsible for a recall of 6 million cars, trucks, SUV and vans in January 2005.  At the time of the August recall, Ford said that it had received reports of a "few" fires, though it would not confirm exactly how many such reports there had been.  However, since the cruise control switch was first used by Ford in 1992, the NHTSA has documented 600 fires

In regards to the cruise control recall, Ford said that it was responding to customer concerns, and denied that the cruise control switches posed a hazard. But over the past decade, Ford has recalled 10 million vehicles because of concerns that the cruise control switch can cause fires. The Ford cruise control recalls have now covered every single car and truck built with this switch.

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