On Oct. 26, 2009, Ford recalled 4.5 million cars to fix cruise control deactivation switches, which shut off the cruise control when the driver presses on the brakes. The switch is located by the brake reservoir fluid, creating a very thin membrane between the flammable brake fluid and the electrical parts of the deactivation switch. Several fires have resulted from a crack in the membrane between the switch and the brake fluid reservoir, permitting the flammable liquid to leak into the electrical components. More than 500 fires have resulted from the faulty Texas Instrument cruise control deactivation switches, leading to several injuries and in serious cases, death.
Because of the potential for vehicle fires, Ford voluntarily recalled the following models:
- 1995-2003 Ford Windstar
- 2000-2003 Excursion Diesel
- 1993 & 1999-2003 Ford F-250 SD through F-550 SD Diesel
- 1992-2002 Ford Explorer
- 1997 and 2002 Mercury Mountaineer
- 1995-1997 & 2001-2003 Ford Ranger
- 1994 Ford F-53 Vehicles
This Ford recall follows a 2008 recall for the same problem. Combined, Ford has now recalled more than 14 million cars to install a fused harness to prevent further problems with the switch.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warned consumers to pay attention to warning signs that could signal a possible problem with the cruise control deactivation switch, including brakes lights that stop working; dashboard ABS/brake lights that turn on; inability to switch out of park; cruise control systems that stop working; or cruise control systems that cannot be activated.
At Morgan & Morgan, our auto accident attorneys can help you work to recover compensation you may need after getting injured. Our product liability attorneys can also investigate your claim. Contact us today.