Ford is recalling over a million pickups to replace faulty fuel tank straps. The straps may corrode causing the tank to drop and may result in a fuel leak or fire.
The recall includes Ford F-150 trucks model years 1997 through 2004, the 2004 F-150 Heritage model, 1997-1999 light duty F-250 pickups (less than 8,500 pounds) and Lincoln Blackwood trucks from model years 2002 and 2003.
Trucks being recalled were sold or registered in 21 Eastern and Midwestern states where salt is used to clear ice from roads. The states are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. as well as Canadian provinces.
The straps may rust and result in one or both straps failing. This may cause fuel lines to leak or break from the tank or the tank to fall to the ground. Faulty straps have been reported as the cause for for eight fires, three of which spread to the rest of the truck.
Ford will begin notifying owners in September. The affected owners will be instructed to visit a Ford dealer to have their straps replaced with specially coated corrosion-resistant straps. The parts to fix the problem will not be available until September. In the meantime dealers may install a cable support under the strap as a temporary repair.