Ford has issued a recall for 1997-2004 Ford F-150s, 1997-1999 Ford F-250s and 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood trucks. Models sold in cold-weather states are being recalled for gas tank strap failures. Road salt can cause corrosion to the support straps and the gas tank could potentially fall off the vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating complaint reports of fuel leaks in September of last year. The investigation was escalated in May of this year when a total of 339 complaints had been filed for strap failure. Of the filed complaints, only one owner has been injured suffering first-and second-degree burns.
Ford and Lincoln dealerships will begin notifying owners in September. The repair service will be offered free-of-charge.
This is the second recall of this magnitude for Ford this year. In April, Ford recalled 1.2 million F-Series trucks for faulty airbags.
The F-Series truck has been Ford's and America's best-selling truck for the 34 years in a row. With a more environmentally conscience consumer base, Ford reported growth in the largest gains in cars and crossovers. Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service said of the June sales numbers, "Strong demand for Ford's fuel-efficient cars and crossovers continues, and we now are seeing truck buyers return to the market with significant appetite for our fuel-efficient V-6 engines."
While the F-150 recently earned high marks in the J.D. Power 2011 APEAL consumer satisfaction survey for design, content and fuel efficiency, the recent recalls cast a negative shadow on the F-Series line. Ford executives believe in the brand, their vehicles and most importantly their customers. Bennie Fowler, group vice president, Global Quality and New Model Launches notes, "[Ford] is absolutely committed to the highest vehicle quality, delivering vehicles that surprise and delight customers while eliminating defects."