Last month, Ford widened its cruise control switch recall to 4.5 million vehicles. Included in the growing list of cars and trucks was the Ford Ranger pickup – the mechanical twin to the now-discontinued Mazda B-Series pickup. Not surprisingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has now widened its recall to encompass 39,600 of Mazda's 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 trucks for the exact same fault.
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.
As if Ford didn't have enough problems, they also have to contend with the gift that keeps on giving: their cruise control switches. The company previously recalled 5.8 million vehicles because a manufacturing problem with the switch could cause a short, resulting in a "thermal event" (more commonly referred to as a fire). Now Ford has to add another 155,000 assorted F-Series trucks and SUVs to the tally. The affected vehicles are all from 2003 and they include the seldom-seen Lincoln Blackwood