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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

NHTSA probes F-150 fuel-tank straps

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NHTSA probes F-150 fuel-tank straps

David Shepardson / The Detroit News

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether 1.4 million Ford F-150 vehicles should be recalled over concerns that fuel tank rust could pose a fire hazard.

NHTSA said in a statement posted on its website that it has opened a preliminary investigation into 1997-2001 F-150 models after receiving 32 complaints alleging corrosion of the straps supporting the fuel tank. In 28 of the complaints, either one or both straps broke allowing the tank to drop from the frame and either drag along the ground or completely detach from the vehicle.

NHTSA said the issue could present "a fire hazard from leaking gasoline as well as an obstruction hazard to vehicles following the subject trucks."

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No fires or injuries have been alleged in any of the complaints.

Ford didn't offer any immediate comment.

The investigation is the latest sign that NHTSA is moving much quicker to open investigations--even for vehicles nearly a decade old, and when no injuries have been reported. The stepped-up posture comes in the wake of strong criticism of the agency in its handling of sudden acceleration complaints in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said last week that the agency has been "more aggressive" than it has been "in a very long time" in addressing safety issues.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100913/AUTO01/9130382/1361/NHTSA-probes-F-150-fuel- tank-straps#ixzz0zR1uhuoq

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Older Ford F-150s probed for fuel tanks than can fall off

05:22 AM

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether 1.4 million 1997-2001 Ford F-150 vehicles should be recalled.

The concern is that the straps holding the fuel tank could rust. That could cause the tank to fall off or, at very least, it could create a giant fire hazard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a strap came loose in 28 of the 32 cases it has reviewed, the Detroit News reports.

This is a huge deal because the F-150 is the vehicle that Ford salutes above all others. It is the nation's longtime best-selling vehicle. An embarassing recall involving the F-150 is the last thing that Ford needs.

NHTSA says in the cases where the tank busted loose, it dragged along the ground or was detached from the truck.

The News says the investigation is proof that NHTSA is moving much quicker to open investigations, an apparent outgrowth of the Toyota fiasco.

TAGS:FORD F-150

link:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/09/older-ford-f-150s-probed-for-fuel-tanks-than-can-fall-off/1

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