- Jul 18, 2005
Ford cruise-control switch suspected in another fatal fire
When a fire ripped through a home in January 2004 and killed a 4-year-old girl, no one at the time suspected that the 2001 F-150 Super Crew parked inside the attached garage was at fault, and the case was closed with the cause of fire listed as "undetermined". A year later, Ford announced a recall that covered cruise-control switch fires and would have included this vehicle. The girl's family has responded with a wrongful-death lawsuit, which we believe is the second of its type filed due to fatal house fires allegedly caused by the defective switch. This one may face a fierce battle, since the truck has been scrapped and crushed and thus crucial evidence has probably been destroyed. NHTSA continues to investigate Ford vehicles equipped with such switches, and the probe has now opened to cover 3.7 million F-150s, Expeditions, and Navigators from 1994-2001.