just-auto.com

USA: Parts availability delays Ford cruise control recall

By just-auto.com editorial team | 21 December 2005

Ford reportedly said on Tuesday that replacement parts needed for its US recall of 3.8m pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles would not be available until February because of production delays.

The Associated Press noted that, in September, the automaker recalled 1994-2002 model-year vehicles amid complaints of engine fires linked to the cruise control switch system. The recall, the fifth-largest in US history, covered the F-150 pickup, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and Ford Bronco.

AP said that Ford's investigation found that brake fluid could leak through the cruise control's deactivation switch into the system's electrical components, potentially causing corrosion. The corrosion could cause a buildup of electrical current which could cause overheating and a fire.

Dealers reportedly were told to install a fused wiring harness to act as a circuit breaker in the system. The harness would cut off electrical current to the switch if the current increases.

The Associated Press said Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in early September that the replacement parts were expected to be available in mid-October but Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said the supplier and the company ran into delays producing the wiring harnesses.

"We're expecting we'll be able to notify customers the first week of February that they'll be able to have the new part put in their vehicles," Kinley said, according to AP.

As an interim step, Kinley said owners could have their speed control system disconnected until the part becomes available, The Associated Press added.