The defect in the straps causes them to corrode too quickly when exposed to de-icing substances used on roads in the wintertime. Eventually, the defective straps can break, putting those inside the vehicle at risk of injury.
The affected pickup trucks have model years between 1997 and 2004. Specifically, the 1.1 million trucks included in the announced recall are F-150s from model years 1997 through 2004; F-250s from 1997 through 1999; and Lincoln Blackwoods from 2002 and 2003. As the affected model years go back at least seven years, the defect in the fuel tank straps mostly affects vehicles with a lot of miles on them that have had years of exposure to road salt and other corrosive materials.
Ford said that truck owners will be able to get their fuel tank straps replaced at no charge, though dealerships may run out of the replacement straps. In that case, mechanics will put in a temporary cable support in place of the defective straps. Owners will begin receiving recall notices sometime in the middle of September, the automaker’s spokesman said.
This is the second large-scale recall of pickup trucks Ford has announced this year. It previously recalled more than 1 million F-150s from model years 2004 to 2006 over an air-bag defect. None of the F-150s included in that recall are affected by this latest announcement, the Ford spokesman said.
Source: Bloomberg, “Ford Recalls F-150 Trucks for Fire-Causing Strap Corrosion,” Angela Greiling Keane, Aug. 1, 2011