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Ford Cruise Control Fires Timeline

Over a period of 10 years, Ford Motor Company has recalled more than 14 million vehicles for problems with their cruise control, which was manufactured by Texas Instruments. These vehicles were catching fire, even if the car was shut off and parked. One of the options for victims who had property destroyed or suffered an injury because of Ford cruise control fires is to hire a Texas personal injury lawyer.

Recalls Do Not Mean You Cannot Sue

Zehl & Associates has experience with Ford Motor Company lawsuits. As a Ford cruise control fires lawyer, we have successfully litigated many cases and have recovered more than $50 million for owners of Ford vehicles that were equipped with a defective cruise control device.

When Did the Investigations Leading to Recalls Start?

According to Mother Jones, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) first launched an investigation into the Ford cruise control fires in 1998, which applied only to Lincoln Town cars that were manufactured with the faulty cruise control device between 1992 and 1993. Since then, numerous investigations and widespread recalls have impacted a number of Ford models. According to USA Today, in 2008, Ford reported they had stopped using the defective cruise control device in 2003. By this time, however, there were many more classes of vehicles being recalled. Vans, motor homes and Ford pickup trucks manufactured between 1995 and 2003 were all subject to recalls.

What Causes the Fires?

The NHTSA stated their belief was the fires were a result of leaking fluid. The leak caused damage to the anti-lock brake control module in the vehicle, leading to fire. This was confirmed with Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood. One of the possible “fixes” to avoid Ford cruise control fires was to disconnect the switches until a replacement switch could be inserted into the vehicle.

Did Ford Respond in an Adequate Manner?

Most people feel that Ford acted slowly in processing the complaints about the fires. In fact, many people were told that because their vehicles were out of warranty, there was nothing they could do to help them, even if they lost their vehicles or homes to a fire as a result of the defective switch.

Consumer Affairs reported in 2008 that Ford was downplaying the risk of fires due to faulty cruise control devices, in spite of an NHTSA report that clearly warned consumers that a fire could occur even when the vehicle was parked, and the cruise control device was disengaged. They warned that only by having the faulty cruise control devices disconnected could they be assured they would not be the next victim of a Ford cruise control fire. There were also numerous complaints that parts were unavailable to people who took their vehicles in for repairs.

What Vehicles Were Affected by these Recalls?

Across the Ford line, thousands of vehicles were affected by the Ford recall to repair the faulty cruise control device. Ford vans, motor homes, SUVs, cars and trucks were all subject to recall for a faulty cruise control device:

Ford Trucks Ford Cars Ford SUVs Ford Vans/RVs/Motor Homes
F150, F250, F350, F450 and F550,  1993-2003 Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis,  1992-1997 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer, 1998-2001 E150, E250 and E350,  1992-1993 and 1997-2002
Ford Super Duty,  1993-2003 Ford Taurus,  1993 Ford Explorer Sport and Ford Explorer Sport Trac,  2001-2002 Ford Econoline, 1994-1996Ford E450,  1996-2002
F150 Supercrew,  2001 Lincoln Mark VIII, 1993-1998 Ford Bronco,  1993-1996 F53 Motor home,  1995-2002
Lincoln Blackwood,  2002-2003 Mercury Capris,  1994 Ford Expedition, 1997-2002  
Ford F150 Lightening,  2003-2004   Lincoln Navigator,  1998-2002  
    Ford Excursion, 2000-2003  

Should I Contact An Attorney?

Any person who has suffered injury or property loss should contact a personal injury attorney. Ford took their time recalling these vehicles and, as a result, many people had vehicles that were well past the warranty period. In some cases, vehicle owners suffered a complete loss of transportation because of these fires. Ford can, and should, be held accountable for those losses.

If you are one of the thousands of consumers who had a Ford vehicle that was subject to recall, but your vehicle caught fire and caused you injury or you suffered property damage as a result of a cruise control fire, consider contacting Zehl & Associates at our Houston office at 713-903-2759 or our Austin office at 1-888-603-3636.

We will be happy to review your case and advise you of the best way to proceed. Big car makers are constantly recalling vehicles, and this is a safety concern that all of us should be aware of. It is never a good idea to let a manufacturer take their time recalling a vehicle because it will tarnish their good name — consumer safety must be the first concern at all times.