Ford Motor Co said on Monday it is recalling about 1.2 million pickup trucks in theUnited States and Canada to replace straps that hold fuel tanks in place and could corrode and break. This recall affects Ford F-150 full-size pickups from model years 1997 through 2004, F-250 pickups of less than 8,500 pounds from model years 1997 through 1999 and Lincoln Blackwood trucks from model years 2002 and 2003.
Of the trucks being recalled, 1.1 million are in the United States and the rest are in Canada. The trucks were sold or are registered in 21 eastern and Midwestern U.S. states, Washington D.C., and Canadian provinces, where the possibility of corrosion of the straps that hold the fuel tanks may occur because of prolonged exposure to road de-icing chemicals. As a result of the corrosion, one or both straps may fail, causing fuel lines to separate from the tank or in some cases causing the tank to fall to the ground resulting in a fuel leak or fire. Ford said there were reports of three vehicle fires and one injury related to the corrosion of the fuel tank straps.
Owners should take the vehicles immediately to a dealer to have the straps replaced with ones that offer more corrosion protection, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website – http://www.nhtsa.gov/. Dealers may install a cable support under the strap as an interim repair or a steel reinforcement over the existing straps as a permanent repair . Ford said a permanent repair to fix the problem will be in place by mid-September to ensure that all dealers are taking adequate steps to resolve the problem long term. NHTSA investigated 2.7 million pickups, but Ford said the smaller number was because it is only recalling the trucks in states and provinces where corrosion could be a problem.
Ford’s recall campaign number is 11S21. owners may also contact the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153),or go to http://www.safercar.gov .