Ford’s Recall of Trucks with Defective Fuel Tank

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on July 29, 2011 that Ford is recalling 1.1 million pickup trucks due to defective fuel tanks. Reports have indicated that prolonged exposure to road deicing chemicals may cause severe corrosion of the fuel tank straps that secure the tank to the vehicle, allowing the fuel lines to separate from the tank and, in some cases, causing the tank to contact the ground, which poses a fire hazard.

Ford will soon begin notifying the owners of vehicles affected by the recall, instructing them to take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln dealer where the fuel tank straps will be replaced with straps that have increased corrosion protection. If replacement straps are not available, the dealer may install a cable support under the strap as an interim repair until a replacement strap is available or install a steel reinforcement over the existing strap as a permanent repair. The fuel tank strap repair will be performed free of charge.

Which Ford Trucks Are Affected By the Recall?

The recall involves the following Ford vehicles:

  • Certain Ford F-150s for model years 1997 to 2003
  • 2004 Ford F-150 Heritage
  • Ford F-250 for model years 1997-1999
  • 2003 Lincoln Blackwood vehicles manufactured between June 29, 1995 and August 4, 2004

What Is the Status of Other Ford Vehicle Defects?

A circuit court judge in Florida recently set aside the decision of a jury finding that Ford was not liable for damages and injuries caused by the sudden acceleration of its Aerostar van. Judge Swigert found that Ford’s misconduct had amounted to a fundamental error that had deprived plaintiffs of a fair trial and ordered a new trial on the issues of compensatory and punitive damages. Judge Swigert’s opinion found clear and convincing evidence that Ford had engaged in fraud, misrepresentation and other misconduct that justified setting aside the jury’s verdict in favor of Ford and issuing a new verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs. For more information on the decision in Stimpson v. Ford, see our recent blog post.

Ford also recently recalled more than 26,000 vehicles, as well as service parts shipped to dealers for the affected vehicles, due to a risk that the multi-function switch can become deformed and prevent the turn signal, tail lights, hazard warning flashers and brake lights from activating, which could in turn increase the risk of a collision. The recall includes the following:

  • Ford Rangers from model years 2004 through 2011
  • Ford Excursions from model years 2002 through 2005
  • Ford E-250, E-350, E-450 and E-550 from model years 2002 through 2007

What Should I Do If I Own One of the Recalled Ford Trucks?

The defective fuel tank recall, which has a campaign number of 11S21, is expected to begin on or about September 12, 2011. The defective multi-function switch recall has a campaign number of 11C18. If you own one of the recalled Ford vehicles, you should promptly take your vehicle to your Ford or Lincoln dealer for the appropriate and necessary repairs to be performed free of charge. Owners may contact Ford Motor Co. at (866) 436-7332 or the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 or visit the NHTSA’s website at

If you have suffered injuries or damages as a result of a defective vehicle, you may also wish to consult with an attorney. The Chicago product liability law firm of Ankin Law is dedicated to protecting consumers from dangerous and defective products, including defective vehiclesContact one of our skilled Chicago personal injury and product liability attorneys at (312) 600-0000 if you would like more information on recalled vehicles.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law ( handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and


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