• Oct 14, 2009
For the past ten years, Ford has been doing a dance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and consumers over the issue of leaking cruise control switches in certain company vehicles. As of 2008, it had recalled some 9.6 million vehicles to repair a faulty Texas Instruments cruise-control deactivation switch, and now after a NHTSA investigation, the Blue Oval has added 4.5 million more Ford and Mercury vehicles to the recall.

The latest action covers these vehicles:

1992-2003 Ford Econoline
2000-2003 Ford Excursion
1995-2002 Ford Explorer
1993-1997, 1999-2003 Ford F-Series Super Duty
1994 Ford F-53 chassis
1995-1997, 2001-2003 Ford Ranger
1995-2003 Ford Windstar
1995-2002 Mercury Mountaineer

According to NHTSA, the switch can leak and overheat, which can lead to smoking and, in some cases, fire. In fact, The Detroit News notes that the switches have been faulted in more than 550 fires – some of which led to fatalities – many of which have led to lawsuits. A Ford statement declared, "Aside from the Windstar, the additional vehicles addressed in this action have different system parameters and do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety. However, Ford is taking this action on all of these vehicles to address possible ongoing customer lack of confidence in vehicles with the affected switch."

The recall begins on October 26. Anyone with an affected vehicle can take it to a Ford dealer and have the switch repaired with a fused harness. Owners can get more information directly from NHTSA by calling the government agency's hotline at 1-888-327-4236. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      If this was aan atricle about any Japanese brand recalling 4.5M! vehicles then this comments page wouldve been filled already.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Matt or Brian who?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I find it kinda ridiculous that they still haven't fixed the damn switches still. There have been recalls for these switches for years. It's good it isn't on a new model though, not that it will stop Matt or Brian.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And you fools wanted to make a big deal about Toyota and some damn FLOOR MATS?! LMAO!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Are you implying people on this blog are an inaccurate representation of car buyers and let their misguided car biases influence their posts? Naw...........
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is it really a Ford problem? I mean Texas Instruments made the darn things so we and Ford should be angry at Texas Instruments for making such a poor product. If anyone is doubting the effected vehicles quality my mom has a 1998 Windstar Limited and its the most reliable vehicle we've ever owned! No major problems with it ever! 102,000 miles and still rolling strong and smooth!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Funny thing I noticed in this article that I don't think I have ever seen in a recall article like this before (except the breaking input shafts on the early Camaro SS): they actually named the supplier of the switch (TI). Interesting.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That part of TI was actually spun off (divested) a couple of years ago; they're now called Sensata.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can anyone help me understand why, when I go to the Ford website under recalls and enter my vin# its says no recall for this vehicle. I have a 2003 Ford Windstar the dash is lit up like a Christmas tree with ABS lights Brake Lights and the cruise only shuts off when you step on the brake, you cant tell me there is not some Texas instrument part some where in this van. My god I would be happy at this point to have anything replaced for free, instead of paying another $500.00 for this and that..........Thanks for your help
      • 5 Years Ago
      When the Expedition recall came out a couple of years ago, I proactively replaced the switch on my F-150 with Ford's new design part (which came with a harness adapter, because the connectors are different), so I wouldn't have to disconnect it. I've since been through the recall, so now I have the new design switch, plus its harness adapter, plus the fused harness extension that gets installed in the recall. What a kluge!
        • 5 Years Ago
        My wifes 2000 Mountaineer had the recall work done over a year ago. Now I have a nice big fuse link zip tied to the brake lines coming off the ABS. Not a particularly attractive under hood addition, but I guess its better than a chance of busting into flames.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is never a good sign when your vehicles are bursting into flames. What is most disappointing is that it has taken way too many recalls to get this fixed. I am the previous owner of more than one vehicle on that list that were dealer serviced and I was told not effected by this issue. It is pretty upsetting to think you could have been driving around with a known issue that is this dangerous even if it is rare. It shouldn't have taken this long to recall the full list of vehicles with these issues.

      I do think it is a good thing that they are naming the supplier. I think that should happen more often in recalls since these suppliers generally do business with more than one company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ouch, this hurts
      • 5 Years Ago
      A lot of these vehicles aren't even on the road anymore thanks to C4C.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just to let you know the 1998-2000 Ranger is part of this. I know because I drive a 98 and had it done to the truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is one reason I would avoid most Ford products produced before 2005, lots of reliability issues. Ford is making much better cars under Mulally's control and even produced some decent vehicles during Bill Ford's last couple years, my 2007 focus is a great car.
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