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John Bisnar
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Defective Cruise Control Subject Of Recall

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Ford recalls more pickup trucks and SUVs.

Ford Motor Co. recalled about 155,000 pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles last week to repair a defective cruise control switch system that already had led to millions of recalls, according to an Associated Press news report posted on CBS news’ Web site.This announcement came on the same day that the Associated Press reported that the auto maker had settled in October with an Iowa man who filed a lawsuit against the company stating that a cruise control deactivation switch in a 1996 Ford F-150 pickup started the fire although no one was using the truck.

This announcement came on the same day that the Associated Press reported that the auto maker had settled in October with an Iowa man who filed a lawsuit against the company stating that a cruise control deactivation switch in a 1996 Ford F-150 pickup started the fire although no one was using the truck.

Ford said the latest recall involved 2003 versions of the F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty truck, the Ford Excursion SUV and the Lincoln Blackwood pickup.

The automaker previously had recalled 5.8 million vehicles in the past two years because of engine fires linked to the cruise control systems in trucks, SUVs and vans. That recall, reportedly one of the largest in history, covered vehicles from the 1994 to 2002 model years, according to the article.

Ford officials said Monday an internal check found the switch systems in some early 2003 trucks and SUVs could corrode over time, overheat and ignite. There have been no reports of firs in the 2003 vehicles.

The F-150 pickup has been the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 30 years and is considered crucial to Ford’s attempts to return to profitability. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration completed an extensive investigation last year into the cause of the fires. Through August of last year, NHTSA had received 1,472 complaints, including 65 reports of fires.

Ford said last year its review found that brake fluid could leak through the cruise control’s deactivation switch into the system’s electrical components, leading to corrosion, overheating and a possible fire. Ford officials said about 45 percent of the vehicles under the previous recalls have been repaired.

Ford needs to get on the ball with its recalls. They are too few and too late given the company’s track record of producing defective products and flat out refusing to admit defects in their automobiles. Ford is doing a great disservice to the public by ignoring safety standards and by not reporting their auto defects in a timely manner.