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Old 08-31-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
468 posts, read 1,366,736 times
Reputation: 466

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If you own a Ford vehicle, made within the past 15 years or so, please read:


About 30 minutes ago I noticed smoke coming out of a Ford truck in the parking lot where I work. At first I thought it was somebody smoking a cigarette, but the smoke was constant and getting thicker.

That's when I noticed the flames under the driver's side wheel well. I yelled for another employee to call 911. Then I grabbed the fire extinguisher and ran out to the truck.

I sprayed the fire from the wheel well area. Then I noticed that the windows were down on the truck. I reached in, popped the hood latch, and sprayed the engine compartment. I put the fire out.

It looks to have been caused by the cruise control brake cutoff switch. Ford recalled those switches a couple of years ago. The owner of the vehicle came out and asked me what happened. I told him about the fire and about the recall of those switches.

He said, "I seem to remember hearing something about that, but I didn't think it applied to my truck." Big mistake.

Those switches can cause a fire even when the vehicle is parked and turned off. It would have been catastrophic if he had been parked in a garage or under a carport.

So, to make a long story even longer, if you know anybody who owns a Ford vehicle, tell them to call their dealership and ask if the recall applies to them. I don't recall the exact years, or models, that were affected by the recall.

I'm not knocking Ford at all. I own a Ford truck that was affected by the recall. I had my switch replaced a couple of years ago.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:38 AM
 
19,023 posts, read 23,302,190 times
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Mini Chevy Blazers did that too, but I don't know the cause. You could park it and in several hours time they caught fire.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:07 PM
 
3,190 posts, read 4,461,227 times
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I have a recall letter of that exact type sitting right here beside my computer.

I have yet to have it done because of another problem that Ford did NOT do anything about.....a rusted through oil pan!

My truck is a 2002 F-350 Dualie Diesel. Until I can afford to get that fixed (read big bucks) then it'll sit here for a while.

I'm not worried about a fire due to the speed control deactivation switch right now while it sits because a fire can only happen if the exhaust manifold is hot from running (brake fluid leaking onto it).
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
468 posts, read 1,366,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoobleKar View Post
I'm not worried about a fire due to the speed control deactivation switch right now while it sits because a fire can only happen if the exhaust manifold is hot from running (brake fluid leaking onto it).

That's a dangerous, and incorrect, assumption. The issue is that the defective switches allow brake fluid to enter into the switch where the wires are always "hot". Even though the vehicle may be parked and the ignition turned off.

Whether you're going to be driving your vehicle, or not, the safest thing to do is to simply disable the switch by unplugging it at the connector.

This will deactivate your entire cruise control system (not a big factor for you personally since you won't be driving your truck), but it will prevent a potential fire for those who haven't had the chance to get the switch replaced by Ford.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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Well, I assumed it had to drip onto something already hot.

If that's true, then I can easily unplug it. Without consulting my Haynes manual though, I'm not sure what switch is the speed control deactivation switch.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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The switch is screwed into the brake fluid reservoir. It resembles a spark plug with two wires coming out of the top of it.

Those two wires plug into the switch with a plastic connector. Just disconnect the switch at the connector. You don't have to remove the switch itself.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Here is more information on the issue of the defective switches. If any of you suspect that your vehicle might be part of the recall just call your local Ford dealer and ask.

I was lucky enough to catch the fire yesterday before it got out of control. The owner was completely unaware of the recall.

Ford Cruise Control Switch Fires
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:14 AM
 
3,190 posts, read 4,461,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ron1999 View Post
The switch is screwed into the brake fluid reservoir. It resembles a spark plug with two wires coming out of the top of it.

Those two wires plug into the switch with a plastic connector. Just disconnect the switch at the connector. You don't have to remove the switch itself.

Great! Thanks....you saved me the time of looking up the switch in my manual. I'll pull the plug on that.

I do most jobs myself if they don't require any special tools so I'm a decent backyard mechanic.

I'm sure mine is part of the recall since I have this recall notice sitting here with my VIN and all included on it. The recall is dated November of 2009.

This also says it affects vehicles with or with out cruise control by the way. Mine has all the bells ans whistles, including cruise so I will definitely pull that plug.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
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It takes all of 5 minutes for the dealer to do the recall!

Anyone who doesnt take care of their recall is just asking for trouble IMO.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 24,566,857 times
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Its interesting this thread came up. I have a 1995 Lincoln Town Car that was in this same recall. When first emailed the old lady about the car when I bought it in June, she said it (recall) had been performed. When I went to see the car I noticed it did NOT have the "fused wiring harness" that most others I had seen with the recall performed had. I looked up the VIN on Fords website and it showed the recall had NOT been performed. So I called one of my local Lincoln dealers to have it done. I took it in back in June about two weeks after I had purchased it. They said they would take care of it. I got home, popped the hood to see how it looked and to my amazement and disappointment, I could not see where they had done done anything! I was very cross, so I called the dealer and he said he (guy at the service desk) said he didnt know why the service guy would not replace the switch, he said he had even taken him the part. He came back and said on my car I would not be able to see it, because on my car it was performed underneath, which I know was a bunch of nonsense because I had researched this recall. So... I said I would take it back (he said to return the car), but I really didnt want that dealer touching my car again, so I took it to FIVE other Ford-Mercury-Lincoln dealers and they all said it had been performed. I explained it to them and they would send out a guy to look at it and all would say, yeah, its been replaced, they replaced your switch and didnt install the wiring harness, which was also a lie, because its the same old switch on the master cylinder that was on there when I purchased the car. It was a very crazy ordeal the two weeks I tried to deal with this. So.... as of now, as far as I know, the dealer didnt do my recall (at least didnt install the wiring harness), so I dont know what to do. Out of anger I may go back to the original dealer and tell them I want to PURCHASE the new fused harness and I will pay them to install it, which isnt right, since I feel they should have done this. I had even called Ford and talked to the customer service center and they acted like I was crazy. One lady even asked me if I was a "trained mechanic tech" and knew they had not done my recall. I told her I had done enough research on these to know it wasnt done. So, I had basically gave up. It was like I was in a twilight zone and no one was listening to me at these dealers. So I am still confused as to if they were supposed to add a fused harness regardless of a leaking switch. Someone said they thought if the switch was leaking, then they only replaced the switch, but I think the fused harness should be installed no matter what to keep it from overheating.

First couple of weeks I would disconnect my battery overnight, but that got old. At least the car is setting outside away from my house, so if it does burst into flames, it wont burn my house down.

Here are some pics of the area near the cruise switch after my recall was supposedly performed... (I dont see that anything was done... do you?) What would you do?






*also to the original poster... this effected some cars as far back as 1992.... here is a complete list from ennislaw I found on a google search...

The complete list of recalled vehicles is as follows:

Cars
1992-1998 Ford Crown Victoria
1992-1997 Lincoln Town Car
1992-1997 Mercury Grand Marquis
1993-1995 Ford Taurus SHO
1993-1998 Lincoln Mark VIII
1994 Mercury Capri

SUVs
1993-1996 Ford Bronco
1997-2002 Ford Expedition
1998-2001 Ford Explorer
1998-2001 Mercury Mountaineer
1998-2002 Lincoln Navigator
2000-2003 Ford Excursion
2001-2002 Ford Explorer Sport
2001-2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Pick-up Trucks
1993-2003 Ford F-150
1993-2003 Ford F-250
1993-2003 Ford F-350
1993-2003 Ford F-450
1993-2003 Ford F-550
1993-2002 F-Super Duty
2001 F-Series Super Crew
2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood
2003-2004 Ford F-150 Lightning

Vans
1992-1993, 1997-2002 E150-350
1994-1996 Ford Econoline
1996-2002 Ford E-450 1995-2002 Ford F53 Motor Home

Diesel engine equipped vehicles are excluded from recall.

Models included in the newest action October 2009 expanded recall
1995-2003 Ford Windstars.
2000-2003 Ford Excursion diesels.
1993-1997 and 1999-2003 Ford F-Super Duty diesels.
1992-2003 Ford Econolines.


1995-2002 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers.


1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Ford Rangers.
1994 Ford F53 motorhomes.



One Ford source tells NBC that the recall is “significant.”

According to Ford, vehicle owners have reported that the cruise control on their vehicles has malfunctioned before they shut down the engine. The mechanism that shuts off the speed control may overheat, eventually causing a fire, Ford said.

“We're getting flame literally falling on other plastic components,” said Florida mechanic Larry Perry.

Perry says even when the engine is turned off, power flows to the switch, causing it to overheat and start a fire. “All it takes is a little more heat, a little more flame, you've got a vehicle you can’t put out.”

Ford says it knows of 63 alleged vehicle fires and of one alleged injury associated with a fire. No deaths have been reported, but the instances of fires appear to be increasing, the car company said.

Ford said the cruise control will be disabled once the switch is deactivated.

“We recognize this may be an inconvenience, but we believe this preventive action is in the best interest of our customers’ safety,” the company said.

Also to the original poster... here is a Ford truck that looks like it was not going to be saved in time... thankfully you were there to put out that fire....


Last edited by Tennesseestorm; 09-02-2010 at 09:43 PM.. Reason: added some info....
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