Quality control issues are quite common among auto manufacturers. Just recently, Ford announced that some recent Ford F-150 models had serious issues, including potential loss of transmission functionality, premature engine wear, and other such problems, such as faulty side-door latches.
However, while these issues are quite serious, none of them are life-threatening – unlike some older Ford F-150 vehicles, which have been recalled due to a risk of fire damage. A total of 1 million Ford pickups are thought to be at risk of fire – and many people who have an affected vehicle are still unaware of the issue.
What’s The Problem? Why Are These Vehicles Catching On Fire?
Ford has some quality control issues in the late 90s and early 2000s. One of these issues was with the fuel tanks on some F-150 models, and other Ford vehicles that shared this design and chassis, like the Lincoln Blackwood.
Over time, the straps that hold the fuel tank on the bottom of the truck can become severely corroded after heavy use. This can lead the tank to drop and leak – and if any fire source or spark comes into contact with the leaky engine, the truck may catch on fire.
According to Ford, there have been 3 such vehicle fires that they are aware of, which caused one injury.
The problem is especially pronounced in areas of the country where heavy snows are common. Salt used to clear roads of ice and snow can exacerbate the natural weakness of the truck fuel tank straps, leading to severe corrosion.
How Do I Know If I’m Affected By The Ford F-150 Fire Recall?
There were four vehicle models that were affected by this Ford F-150 fire recall, as follows:
- 1997-2003 Ford F-150
- 2004 Ford F-150 Heritage
- 1997-1999 Ford F-250
- 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood
Each one of these models shares the faulty fuel strap design, and is at an increased risk of fire if the fuel tank straps have not been replaced.
If you’re not sure what year or model your truck is, and you’ve lost your owner’s manual or other documentation, you can use a VIN decoder to get more information about your truck, and see if it’s been affected by this recall.
How Will The Issue Be Fixed?
Ford has been fixing these trucks by removing and remounting the fuel tank, and using a new set of straps which are designed to provide a more secure hold, even if they are heavily damaged and corroded. This ensures that the fuel tank does not drop, leak, or become damaged.
Can I Still Have My Truck Repaired For Free Because Of The F-150 Fire Recall?
Probably not. This specific recall affected older Ford truck models, and the statute of limitations for no-charge car recalls is 8 years from the original purchase date of the vehicle. Since the newest model affected was the 2004 F-150 Heritage, that means you would have needed to get repairs before 2012 in order to qualify for the recall.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have your truck repaired – and if you do own an older-model Ford F-150, you should definitely do so. If you don’t, your truck is at risk of catching fire, which could be devastating, particularly if it’s in a garage or near your home.
The cost of the repair will likely be quite low, as truck fuel tank straps are simple and inexpensive, and a Ford dealer may be willing to give you a discount if you have missed out on the free, no-cost recall.
Understand If Your Truck Is At Risk Due To The Ford F-150 Fire Recall
If you think your truck has been affected by this widespread recall, don’t wait. Take it to a qualified Ford dealer near you today for an inspection, and to have your fuel straps replaced. Your safety and the safety of your family is on the line.