F-150, F-250 gas tank strap failure prompts plus-million truck recall

Aug 2, 2011

Ford has issued a recall of more than 1 million pickups because the vehicles’ gas tanks can fall off and cause fires.

The recall, announced Aug. 1, covers 1.1 million F-150, F-250 and Lincoln Blackwood-‹ pickups. It involves certain Ford F-150-‹models from 1997-2004, as well as some 1997-99 model-year F-250 pickups. Also affected are Lincoln Blackwood pickups from 2002-03 model years.

In May the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expanded an existing investigation into the matter of the steel straps securing the fuel tank to the truck’s frame might corrode and break, causing the tank to tilt down or fall to the road. That investigation covered 2.7 million vehicles from model years 1997 to 2001.

The defect has been blamed for eight fires, three of which spread to the rest of the truck. One person was injured, suffering first- and second-degree burns, said Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood.

The models involved were sold in states where road salt can cause metal straps holding the tanks to rust. If the straps break, the tanks can hit the ground, rupture and catch fire.