Ford Motor Co. earlier this month recalled 3.6 million passenger cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans because of a defective cruise control switch, according to an Associated Press news report. Problems with the cruise control switch have been reported over the years now and there have been numerous reports of vehicle fires because of the faulty switches as well.
In January 2005, Ford recalled 6 million vehicles because of the engine fires linked to the cruise control systems in their trucks, SUVs and cars. The latest recall covers 16 brands of cars, sport utility vehicles and trucks from model years 1992 to 2004. The models include the Ford Ranger, Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, Lincoln Mark VIII, Ford Taurus SHO, Mercury Capri, Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer, Ford Explorer Sport and Explorer Sport Trac, Ford E-150-350, Ford E-450, Ford Bronco, Ford F-150 Lightning, some models of F-Series trucks and Ford F53 Motor.
This recall brings the total number of vehicles recalled for this problem to 10.5 million since 1999. According to Ford, none of the vehicles involved in this recall have experienced an abnormal number of fires. How many reports did they get of these fires? According to a Ford spokesman, they don’t have an exact number. That’s interesting. Almost 11 million vehicles recalled and they’re not documenting the complaints? I don’t buy that for a second.
But I did find a report on the watchdog Web site ConsumerAffairs.com, which states that their Web site received 155 complaints about these “flaming Fords” since the recall last August that was supposed to fix the problem permanently. One of the persons who complained said that his teenaged daughter’s 1993 Ford Explorer caught on fire as she was trying to pull out of their driveway. Fortunately she got out of the vehicle before the fire started because she saw some smoke coming out of the vehicle.
Darletta Mohlis was not as lucky. She died in a fire caused by their Ford F150 pickup truck which was parked in an attached garage. The fire spread to the house killing the 74-year-old woman. Her husband is suing Ford saying that the auto maker knew about this problem but did nothing to fix it. This is a familiar pattern of behavior for Ford. Be it their defective SUVs, which lack strength and stability, tires or seats, Ford has failed consumers time and time again by denying vehicle defects and simply refusing to fix the problem. Their disregard for victims, who have suffered severe injuries and lost loved ones, is disgusting. No wonder they are having trouble selling cars.
According to ConsumerAffairs.com, Ford owners are taking a “self defense” approach to these “flaming Fords” – they aren’t parking them anywhere near their garages or homes! This is shameful and as a consumer and as an attorney who fights for consumer rights, I absolutely refuse to accept it. If you have suffered severe injuries as a result of a defective vehicle, let’s talk.