Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly
Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly:Mounting
Fuel System, Other:Storage:Tank Assembly
Fuel System, Other:Storage:Tank Assembly:Mounting

Date Announced
Vehicles Affected
NHTSA Campaign #
EA11006
Summary
One or both of the steel straps holding up the fuel tank and attaching it to the truck frame can corrode and fail (break or separate).If one strap fails, the tank may tilt and drop and possibly contact the road surface.If both straps break, the entire tank may drop to the road.If either failure occurs while the vehicle is being driven, contact with the road can abrade the tank and create a hole from which gasoline can spill.When the tank drops, it remains attached to the vehicle only by the fuel filler hose and/or supply lines, or in rare instances, by the skid plate, if present.In some cases the weight of the tank sufficiently strained the hoses and fittings and caused separation and subsequent fuel leaks from those connections.The fire hazard created by leaking gasoline is increased by the possible presence of sparks created by the metal tank being dragged along the road.Corrosion of the straps appears to be caused by prolonged exposure to road deicers, frequently road salt, used to treat snow or ice covered roads.States in which large quantities of deicers are applied to roads during the winter season ("salt belt states") account for the predominant portion of strap failures.Vehicles in these salt belt states are prone to experience corrosion related failures more frequently and earlier in a vehicle-s life cycle.Ford reports approximately 97 percent of reports it received relating to strap failure involve vehicles that were operated in these high corrosion areas, and 95 percent of the reports to NHTSA involved such vehicles.Approximately one-third of F-150 U.S. production was sold in salt belt states.ODI has included in the above counts reports it has received from consumers and reports it has received from Ford in which either the complaint involved confirmed strap corrosion or ODI's assessment of available information suggests corrosion caused the reported problem.Among the incidents reported to NHTSA, 441 involved one or both straps failing due to corrosion, 353 involved the fuel tank dropping and/or dragging on the ground, and 180 involved fuel leakage.ODI has received four reports of strap failure in which the leaking fuel ignited but self-extinguished, and one incident in which fire destroyed the vehicle and injured its driver.Ford reported the same injury incident and three other unique fire incidents, including two in which the leaking fuel ignited and fire destroyed the vehicle.There were no injuries associated with the three unique Ford incidents.Ford has agreed to conduct a recall to repair the subject vehicles.The recall will cover vehicles that were originally sold or are currently registered in salt belt states (regardless of vehicle age).The vehiclesincluded in the recall are those subject vehicles that are, or have ever been, registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or the District of Columbia.Ford's recall action appears to adequately address the problem at this time.The above vehicle population (1,340,349) includes subject vehicles originally delivered or sold in salt belt states.ODI does not know the current or historical locations of all subject vehicles.According to Ford approximately 73% of the recall population is currently registered (a 27% attrition rate).Ford is also recalling certain MY 1997-1999 F-250 vehicles (under 8,500 GVWR), and MY2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood vehicles for the same condition, resulting in an estimated 1.1 million total vehicles covered by the recall (see Safety Recall 11V-385 for further details).
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