The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2000 Ford Excursion, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRES

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA05005

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Wiring:Front Underhood
    Vehicle Speed Control:Cruise Control

    Summary: EA05-005 is closed with Ford's actions in recalls 05V-017, 05V-388, and 06V-286, recalling approximately 6.7 million vehicles equipped with Texas instruments speed control deactivation switches (scds).the brake systems in these recalled vehicles generate a vacuum that can potentially cause the scds to fail and, in certain switch installation orientations, catch fire.Ford is also including the entire population of 1998 Explorer.Ford has informed ODI that testing to determine the cause of failures in the 1998 Explorer will continue after this investigation is closed.ODI believes that the vehicles exhibiting the factors causing scds failure described in this report correlate well with the observed failure rates on these vehicles by model and model year.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist in the non-recalled vehicles manufactured with scds that are not included in Ford's recalls.ODI will continue to monitor the non-recalled population for incidence of engine compartment fires.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.see attached closing report for details.

  2. INVESTIGATION: ENGINE STALLING

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE06011

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: February 27, 2006
    • Date Closed: June 23, 2006
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Diesel

    Summary: The cam position sensor (cps) provides a critical signal to the subject vehicle (sv) engine management system, the loss of which results in an engine stall.during PE06-011, Ford stated in their response to ODI that it is continuing to investigate allegations of cps related engine stall and further advised that an update will be provided upon completion of the investigation.Ford data shows that 20% of the 716,000 svs are equipped with manual transmissions which are capable of back-driving the engine when a stall occurs; power assisted steering and braking are not lost during engine back-drive.Ford data also indicates that back-drive occurs in automatic transmission vehicles above certain road speeds.the manufacturer reports noted reference 755 unique vehicles; 2 are duplicative of ODI reports.in its review of customer and field reports, Ford identified some 800 reports alleging one or more engine stalls potentially related to a cps failure in these 755 vehicles (Ford's żaż category reports).ODI has not completed its review of these or other Ford reports, nor has it confirmed this count.all but one of the 9 crash allegations appear to be minor in nature although ODI is still investigating these crash/injury allegations and whether or not they involve a cps failure.based on early assessment of the approximately 166,000 subject vehicle warranty claims Ford paid, there appears to be variability in claim rates between certain sv production periods; an explanation for this has not been identified.Ford reviewed a sample of the warranty claims and indicated that about half may involve a stall due to cps failure; ODI has yet to confirm this assessment.the investigation is therefore upgraded to engineering analysis EA06-012 so that ODI can continue to investigate the scope, frequency and consequences of cps related engine stalling.

  3. INVESTIGATION: SPARK PLUG EJECTION FROM CYLINDER HEAD

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP05005

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 22, 2005
    • Date Closed: January 04, 2006
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline

    Summary: On September 6, 2005, ODI received a petition requesting that the Agency investigate allegations of engine spark plug ejection in certain model year 1997 through 2004 Ford vehicles with Triton V-8 and V-10 engines.ODI received a total of 474 non-duplicative complaints on the subject vehicles where the complainant, or the dealer repairing the vehicle, reported that a spark plug detached from the cylinder and/or ejected from the engine.as of December 8, 2005, ODI is not aware of any allegations where the alleged defect resulted in a loss of vehicle control, a crash, an injury, or a fatality in any of the 10,319,810 subject vehicles.in addition, ODI is aware of only two incidents where the vehicle stalled without restart.information contained in the ODI consumer complaints and obtained from 72 telephone interviews with complainants showed the following:(1) 99% of the complaints were on MY 1997 to 2002 subject vehicles.(2) most the complainants reported hearing a loud pop while driving or upon starting up the vehicle followed by a loud, repetitive clicking or popping sound.(3) many of the complainants reported that the popping sound was accompanied by some loss of vehicle power; however, in 99% of the incidents reported, the vehicle did not stall.in the very few incidents where the vehicle did stall, most vehicles could be restarted.(4) only a small percentage of the complainants cited that they smelled gas or a slight burning smell when the incident occurred.(5) in all but a very few incidents, vehicle damage was limited to the engine.in one incident, the complaint reported that the fuel rail was damaged and replaced after one of the spark plugs ejected from the engine; however, the complainant reported that the damage did not result in any type of fuel leak or fire.in another incident, the only incident where a fire was alleged, the complainant reported that no fluid leak was observed, but that a fire resulted after the spark plug had ejected from the engine and he had restarted the vehicle and driven to another location.none of the complainants reported any damage to the vehicle hood.(6) only two complainants reported that they observed what appeared to be some drops of fuel coming from the cylinder where the spark plug had failed or on the spark plug itself; however, each of these complainants reported that there was no smoke or flames as a result of his incident.as the petitioner noted, and ODI's analysis showed, it is possible for a spark plug to detach from the engine cylinder threads in the subject vehicles.however, ODI's analysis of 474 complaints describing such incidents found only a very few alleged any safety-related consequences.none of these showed any evidence of a serious safety consequence.given the large population and relatively long exposure time of the subject vehicles, the complaint analysis indicates that the risk to motor vehicle safety from the alleged defect is very low.in view of the foregoing, it is unlikely that NHTSA would issue an order for the notification and remedy of the alleged defect at the conclusion of the investigation requested in the petition.therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the Agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.

  4. INVESTIGATION: HEADLAMP SWITCH KNOB BREAKS OFF

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ05002

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 23, 2005
    • Date Closed: February 17, 2006
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting:Headlights:Switch

    Summary: By letter dated February 8, 2006 Ford notified the Agency that Ford will extend the warranty coverage of the headlight switch knob to 7 years for certain MY 2000 Ford Excursion vehicles.Ford identifies its action as customer satisfaction program 06N05.the program covers subject vehicles built from October 31, 1999 through January 31, 2000.Ford sent letters to owners February 15, 2006. The action taken by the manufacturer is sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.the Agency reserves the right to take future action if warranted by the circumstances.

  5. INVESTIGATION: PULLS UNDER HARD BRAKING

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #SQ00002

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 04, 2000
    • Date Closed: January 22, 2001
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  6. INVESTIGATION: SECTOR SHAFT FRACTURES

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA01009

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: March 02, 2001
    • Date Closed: August 19, 2003
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Steering:Gear Box:Shaft Pitman
    Steering:Gear Box:Shaft Sector

    Summary: This ea was opened based on a response received from Ford Motor Company to an information request (ir) submitted during SQ00-018.Ford stated in an internal service message that it had changed the steering gear sector shafts and pitman arms installed 1999 model year F-series Super Duty vehicles on March 22, 1999.Ford stated that these design changes were implemented to make improvements in vehicle steering and handling, and that virtually all of the reported fractured sector shafts were the result of extraordinary, possibly multiple, impacts.an engineering analysis closing report is attached.

  7. INVESTIGATION: PULLS UNDER HARD BRAKING

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA01004

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: January 22, 2001
    • Date Closed: October 30, 2002
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Suspension

    Summary: There is no summary currently available