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Ford recalls Explorer

Fire warning: Ford's Exlorer is one of three models being recalled to fix faulty cruise control switches that could catch fire.

More than 6000 Ford Explorers, F-Series and Econolines recalled in Australia

15 Feb 2010

ALMOST 6300 examples of Ford’s Explorer SUV, F-Series utility and Econoline van in Australia have now been implicated in Ford’s decade-long global recall to fix leaky cruise control switches that could cause under-bonnet fires.

Unrelated to a mid-December incident that resulted in a “runaway” 2002 Explorer embarking on a half-hour journey along Melbourne’s EastLink freeway, the February 5 recall in Australia involves 6282 Ford vehicles locally, including all (1995-2002) UN, UQ, US and UT-generation Explorers and certain examples of the 1993-2001 F-Series and 1998-2000 Econoline models, which are also discontinued.

According to the ACCC, affected vehicles could have “a leaking speed control deactivation switch could result in an under-hood fire”.

“In certain circumstances the under-hood speed control deactivation switch mounted on the brake system may leak and brake fluid contamination in the electrical connector may cause the wiring to overheat, smoke or burn,” says the ACCC.

“This condition may occur either when the vehicle is parked or when it is being operated, even if the speed control is not in use.”

Ford Australia is now writing to the owners of all affected vehicles at their last known address, but the recall is understood to also affect privately imported ‘grey’ vehicles.

The latest recall follows a June 2008 ACCC call-back to fix the same problem on Explorers built between March 19, 2001 and January 17, 2003.

The issue first surfaced in 1998, with the Ford Motor Co the following year recalling around 279,000 Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car vehicles built in 1992 and 1993 to fix faulty cruise control switches made by Texas Instruments.

Since then Ford has recalled more than 16 million vehicles in five separate recalls, including about 225,000 vehicles last year to repair the initial fix.

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