Ford Cruise Control Switch Sparks Another Recall. In August 2007, due to defective cruise control switches the Ford Motor Company recalled 3.6 million more cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. The new action brought the total number of Ford vehicles recalled as a result of the defective cruise control switch to 10 million. The Ford cruise control switch recalls have now covered every single car and truck built with this type of cruise control switch. Just prior to the 2007 recall, Ford settled a lawsuit filed by an Iowa man who said his wife died as a result of a fire started by a defective cruise control switch. The husband of Dolly Mohlis claimed that she became trapped by a fire in their home that started in the 1996 Ford F-150 truck parked in the garage. Though Ford settled the Mohlis lawsuit, the company continues to deny that the cruise control switch caused the fire. Ford also claims that its vehicles with the cruise control switch do not have a greater fire risk than other vehicles. But since the cruise control switch was first used by Ford in 1992, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has documented 600 fires.
Ford’s 2006 Faulty Cruise Control Switch Recall
On August 3, 2006 Ford Motor Company initiated a recall of 1.2 million trucks; sport utility vehicles and vans in the United States due to a defective speed control deactivation switch that can cause fires. This recall includes F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 trucks from the 1994- 2002 model years, Econoline vans from 1994-1996 model years, E-450 trucks from the 1996-2002 model years, Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs from 1998 model year and Excursion SUVs from 2000-2002 model years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started investigating this issue in March 2005. According to the NHTSA, investigators said the deactivation switch, made by Texas Instruments, could develop an internal short circuit that could result in an engine compartment fire while the vehicle is parked and the ignition off.
2005 Recall of Ford’s with Defective Cruise Control Switches
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating more than 3.7 million Ford pickups and sport-utility vehicles because of a defect in the cruise control switch. The probe includes Ford F-150 pickups 1995-99 and 2001-02 model years, Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from 1997-99 and 2001-02. All of these model Fords have the defective cruise control switch.
The family of an Iowa woman killed in a house fire last month sued Ford Motor Co., claiming a problem with the family’s garaged F-150 pickup caused the blaze. An investigation showed the fire started in the pickups cruise control deactivation switch and spread through the family’s garage into their home.
The defective switch has already being linked to 559 fires reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The fires are spontaneous and often occur when the ignition switch is off and the key removed. Ford designed the switch to remain on or hot at all times. When a crack develops in the film separating the brake fluid from the electrical circuit, the leak will cause a fire.
Since May 1999, Ford has recalled a total of 1,071,000 vehicles in two separate recalls. CNN reports, however, that a document it has obtained shows Ford is aware that it installed a total of 16 million of the switches between 1992 and 2003 in the following vehicles: 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.