Ford Recall

The cruise control suddenly went out on my car a few days ago.  This was very bad news for me because I use cruise control constantly.  If I’m driving fast enough for it to engage, I’ve got it on, perhaps because I have very sensitive, somewhat delicate, feet.  Or maybe I’m just lazy.  My son advised, “You use it too much.  You wore it out.”  Actually, my car is 11 years old, so some things are bound to start wearing out.  But I didn’t realize that the issue could be a little more serious than that.

My husband gave his nod to bringing my car in for repair, so that’s what I did this morning.  I thought I’d just have to wait there while they fixed it, but my husband bravely crutched his way out to his car so he could pick me up.  It was the first time he’d gotten to leave the house in nearly two weeks (since his ankle/foot surgery). 

I mentioned to the service guy that I knew my car was up for some kind of recall, and he confirmed that the recall was for “speed control,” but he said he doubted that was the issue (“It rarely is,” he said).  So I left my car there, and before too long, the guy called to say that they had fixed it.  And what do you know?  The malfunction was caused by the recall issueBreak fluid had been leaking on the electrical wiring and had shorted it out.  “We’ve done about 5,000 of these here, and only three had the issue,” he said.  I was elated that there would be no charge, but I kind of felt like kicking myself for not taking care of it sooner.

I remember when I got the recall notice thinking, “Eh, how likely is it that I’ll have a problem?”  I fully intended to bring my car in for the repair—someday—but it didn’t seem too pressing (even though the recall clearly stated that there was a risk of fire, and that owners shouldn’t park their cars in their garage or near their house until the repair was made).  I don’t know what rock I was under while all this was going on, but apparently Ford had been resisting this recall, implementing it in stages, only when forced, over a period of ten years.  There have been a lot of fires and even some deaths!

I guess it really was very unlikely that my particular car would have the hazardous issue, and even more unlikely that it would cause a fire, but you know I learned something from this:  Take recall notices seriously!

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One Response to Ford Recall

  1. DS says:

    Update: After getting my “speed control deactivation switch” fixed, I continued to see the ABS light intermittently on my dashboard. I had heard that this was related to the speed control issue (leaking brake fluid), so I’d hoped that the repair would address that issue, but apparently it did not. I considered the possibility that the ABS might not be fully functional when the light was on (i.e., I would just have “regular” brakes instead of ABS brakes), but I was totally unprepared for what actually happened two months later: Total brake failure! I managed to avoid striking other cars, but I had to run over some curbs to stop the car, causing significant damage to the tires (two destroyed), rims, steering, suspension, undercarriage, and body. No one was hurt (other than some sprains), so it could have been much worse, but we were just very, very lucky. Under less favorable circumstances, there could have been serious injuries or even multiple fatalities.

    After doing some research online about how common ABS failure is in the affected cars, I think the problem is more common, extensive, and serious than Ford has admitted. It took Ford over 10 years to admit that the leaking brake fluid issue was serious enough to warrant a recall; will they ever admit that the ABS module is dangerously affected, too?

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