Reminder issued over 17.5 million Ford autos recalled for fire risk

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent out a reminder Thursday to owners of 23 different Ford Motor Co. vehicles previously called back because of faulty cruise control systems.

The recalls go back as far as 1999 and include about 17.5 vehicles sold under the Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda brands.


If not repaired, the recalled cars could catch fire, even if they are turned off, parked and unattended, due to a faulty cruise control disconnect switch which can overheat and burn, NHTSA said.

NHTSA’s concern is that as more of the recalled vehicles enter the used car market, used car buyers are not likely to know if the vehicles they purchased were ever repaired.

The administration is urging owners of the affected automobiles to make sure their vehicles have been fixed.

Doing so is fairly easy, NHTSA said. Ford has a website where owners can enter their Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, to see whether that particular auto has been recalled for the problem and whether the repair has been made.

The vehicle’s VIN can be found on the dashboard and on the certification label on the door latch post next to the driver’s seat, NHTSA said.

Possible warning signs for owners of the models recalled over this issue include: a cruise control system that can’t be activated or stops working; brake lights that stop working; low brake fluid, ABS and brake warning lights on the dashboard that are illuminated; or the inability to get a vehicle out of park.

The Ford vehicles previously recalled due to defective cruise control systems include:

-- 1992-98 Ford Crown Victoria

-- 1992-98 Mercury Grand Marquis

-- 1992-98 Lincoln Town Car

-- 1992-03 Ford E Series (all including Econoline models)

-- 1993-97 Ford F Series (>8500GVW Diesel)

-- 1993-2003 Ford F Series (150-550)

-- 1999-2003 Ford F Series (>8500GVW Diesel)

-- 1993-95 Ford Taurus SHO

-- 1993-96 Ford Bronco

-- 1993-98 Lincoln Mark VIII

-- 1994 Mercury Capri

-- 1994-2002 Ford F53 motor home

-- 1995-2003 Ford Ranger

-- 1995-2002 Ford Explorer

-- 1995-2002 Mercury Mountaineer

-- 1995-2003 Ford Windstar

-- 1997-2002 Ford Expedition

-- 1998-2002 Lincolin Navigator

-- 1998-2002 Mazda-B-Series

-- 2000-2003 Ford Excursion

-- 2001-2002 Ford Explorer Sport

-- 2001-2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

-- 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood

-- 2003-2004 Ford SVT Lightning

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles