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Ford recalls 1.1 million pickups

By Associated Press
August 2, 2011

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WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million F-150, F-250, and Lincoln Blackwood pickups. The models involved were sold in cold-weather states where road salt can cause metal straps holding up the gas tanks to rust. If the straps break, the tanks can hit the ground, rupture, and catch fire.

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, Ford said.

The pickups have been involved in three recalls going back to 2008, involving millions of vehicles.

The latest recall involves certain 1997 through 2004 F-150 models, as well as some 1997 through 1999 model year F-250 pickups. Also affected are Lincoln Blackwood pickups from the 2002 and 2003 model years.

The company would not say how much money the recall would cost. The nation’s largest single recall involved 7.9 million Ford vehicles in 1996 to replace an ignition switch.

Earlier in the year, F-Series pickups were the subject of discussion because of air bags that could deploy at the wrong time. Ford said in February that it would fix 150,000 F-150s for that problem, but under pressure from regulators, it expanded the recall to 1.2 million trucks in April. In that case, there were 98 reported injuries because of the problem.

To fix the latest problem, Ford will notify owners in September to bring their trucks to dealers. Mechanics will replace the straps with new ones coated to resist corrosion. Ford said parts to fix the problem won’t be widely available until then. Dealers can install a cable to hold the tanks until replacement straps arrive. Owners may call Ford at 866-436-7332.