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Ford to Fix Speed-Control Switches, Again.

Thursday August 3, 2006

We’ve all heard the story of the Ford trucks with defective cruise control deactivation switches causing them to burst into flames with little or no warning, we’ve all heard the horror stories, we’ve all heard of the suspected cause and the recalls to attempt to fix them. Now, they’ve got a real solution.

After apparently finally having discovered the true source of the problem as the result of what they’ve referred to as “the most exhaustive investigation they’ve ever done”, Ford says it finally has a fix to the problem: it will install a fused wiring harness which cuts off the electrical current to the switch in case there is increased power due to a leaking switch to the perpetually live circuit.

“Today’s action includes those vehicles that were identified as having an interaction issue between the speed control deactivation switch and the brake system that could, in rare cases, cause the switch to overheat and ultimately catch fire,” says Ray Nevi, assistant director, Ford Automotive Safety Office.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigators, who have been investigating the problem since march 2005, said the deactivation switch, made by Texas Instruments, can develop an internal short circuit that could result in an engine compartment fire while the vehicle is parked and the ignition off.

The recall includes F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 trucks from the 1994- 2002 model years, Econoline vans from 1994-1996 model years, E-450 trucks from the 1996-2002 model years, Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs from 1998 model year and Excursion SUVs from 2000-2002 model years.

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