NHTSA Expands Investigation into Ford F-150

Posted: May 09, 2011 12:59 p.m.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has expanded its investigation of the fuel tanks in Ford F-150 models to include more than 2.7 million vehicles. According to the NHTSA’s report, “The straps that support the fuel tank can rust and break, possibly dropping the tank and causing a fuel leak. Leaking gasoline presents a fire hazard.” No formal recall has been made yet, and the NHTSA is still looking into the 306 complaints it has received so far. The investigation includes model years 1997 through 2001, and although no injuries or fatalities have occurred as a result of the defect, two fires have been reported so far. In one instance in 2008, the fuel tank dropped out of a 1998 F-150 in New Hampshire, caught fire and destroyed the vehicle, the Detroit News reports.

The NHTSA originally announced an investigation into the same issue on September 7, 2010, according to the agency’s records. During that investigation, no crashes, injuries or fatalities were reported, and the agency had only received 32 complaints about the defect. However, when the number of complaints ballooned from 32 to more than 300, the NHTSA decided to take another look.

“NHTSA has not yet determined if it will request Ford to issue a recall at this time,” writes Left Lane News. So, if you own a 1997-2001 Ford F-150, your pickup truck hasn’t been recalled just yet. To keep tabs on the NHTSA’s investigation and find out when and if your Ford F-150 has been recalled, visit the NHTSA’s website for vehicle owners. There, you’ll be able to monitor the investigation, find out if your truck has been recalled, and learn what to do from there. You can also call the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153).

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