Ford Motor Co. will be recalling 4.5 million more vehicles, stemming from complaints that vehicle fires have been caused by leaky cruise control switches. This action, dated October 9, brings to 16 million the number of vehicles affected by this recall over the past decade, making it by far the largest US recall.
Incidentally, the second-largest US recall also came from Ford. According to the notification letter sent by Ford to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Windstar minivans from 1995 to 2003 will be recalled for repairs following "a small number of reports" of switch fires. The affected Windstars are reported to reach 1.1 million units, says Automotive News.
Ford describes the risk of an unattended fire due to the leaking switch to be "extremely low." Associated Press reports that Ford is recalling 3.4 million more vehicles with the cruise-control deactivation switch.
Although no fires have been reported for those vehicles, Ford is including them "to address possible ongoing customer lack of confidence in vehicles with the switch."
According further to the letter, the vehicles that don't seem to pose a safety risk are mostly pickups and SUVs, including: the Excursion (diesel), F-Super Duty (diesel), Econoline, Explorer/Mountaineer, Ranger, and F53 Motorhome vehicles.
They are from model years 1992 to 2003. The letter had originated from the office of Ford's James Vondale and was sent to Daniel Smith, NHTSA's associate administrator for safety assurance.