Ford, whose line-up of pickups includes the perennially largest-selling vehicle in the United States, is recalling 1.1 million trucks in 21 states and Washington, D.C. because their gas tanks can fall off and cause fires.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall includes the Ford F-150 (1997-2004), the country’s best-selling vehicle, F-250 (1997-’99) and Lincoln Blackwood (2002-’03).
The recall affects trucks sold or now registered in cold-weather states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
“Prolonged exposure to road de-icing chemicals may cause severe corrosion of the fuel tank straps which secure the tank to the vehicle,” said NHTSA in its recalls summary of the problem.
“As a result of the corrosion, one or both straps may fail, allowing the fuel lines to separate from the tank, or in some cases, causing the tank to contact the ground. Either scenario may result in a fuel leak presenting a fire hazard.”
Ford and Lincoln dealers will have the fuel tank straps replaced with straps that have increased corrosion protection. NHTSA says if replacement straps are not available, dealers may install a cable support under the strap as an interim repair or place a steel reinforcement over the existing strap as a permanent repair.