Tuesday

Fords are Flaming Up Again

This doesn't look like a safety problem to us, says federal safety investigators.

Ford Triton v-8 engines are spitting out their spark plugs and catching fire ... and federal safety investigators aren’t doing anything about it.

Why? “Limited resources” don’t allow it, says NHTSA, the federal safety agency in charge of vehicle recalls. In other words, they don’t have enough “resources” to figure out why Ford engines are causing consumer’s trucks to burn up.


We’ve complained before about safety regulators who don’t seem to regulate anything at all, and this is just one more example of taxpayers getting the shaft while big business lines the pockets of politicians who keep safety agency bureaucrats from protecting the public.

Thousands of Ford truck owners have paid out thousands of dollars to fix their lemon Ford vehicles because federal safety officials aren’t doing their job. This spark plug blow out problem has plagued Ford for years and it doesn’t look like it’s going away. Clearly, what we need to do is get rid of the fat cat bureaucrats who don’t care enough about safety.

Incredibly, and in spite of spark plugs flying thru the hoods of Fords going back to 1997, NHTSA safety investigators actually fought one court effort that was meant to make them investigate Ford’s flammable spark plug problem. Their excuse? They don’t see it as a serious safety issue.

The exploding spark plug problem reportedly involves Ford SUVs, pickup trucks, Crown Victoria and Mustang vehicles sold from 1997 to 2004. For instance, here’s a 1997 F250 that burned up after its spark plug #3 blew out. Thing is, the first plug blew out 200 miles before this and was “fixed” only to have it happen again and, this time, cause a fuel fire that burned the truck down to the axles in 12 minutes, according to the truck’s owner.


To top it off, Ford apparently hamstrung dealers’ repair effort by locking down the repair costs so bad that dealers are forced to end up working hours on the engine for free because Ford won’t pay for what could end up being more time than Ford wants to allow for the diagnosis and repair.


A local example? Take “Dave” (from Richfield, Ohio) who was driving his 2001 F-150 from Cleveland to Columbus when a loud pop was followed by continuous popping engine noises while he was on Interstate 71, boxed in between two semi trucks. When he managed to get to the side of the road, what did he find under the hood? Melted parts sparking away, in search of fuel to ignite.


The fuel that feeds the Ford engine is directly above in a metal “fuel rail” ... Was Dave's Ford just inches from an explosion? So what does the front seat of a burnt up Ford look like? Not pretty. And definitely not where you want to bed sitting when the fire starts!

There’s lots of stories out there and Ford dealers act surprised when they see a spark plug blown out of its position in the cylinder head with comments like “wow, I never seen nothing like that before!” Well, Ford has!

You may be no better off if the defect occurs and your Ford doesn't burn up, either. Damages and repairs can still result in a diminished value for your vehicle when you go to trade it in or sell it. Any evidence of defects or damage, fire or not, can hurt the trade in value or sales price you might get. Check out diminished value info by clicking here for more details.

If you’ve got one of these potential lemon Ford vehicles, our advice? Get rid of it. You don’t want to be driving a flaming Ford with your family, stuck between two semi trucks on the interstate. Just remember what you bought and where you bought it, and you probably won’t do that again.

If you’ve got a lemon Ford, or another lemon car or lemon truck, contact us. We represent consumers in cases like this every day? Why? Well, for one reason, we had a Corvette back in ‘93 that caught fire while we were driving home one night ... for no reason at all. We know what it’s like and, trust us, it isn’t pretty. Oh yeah, GM replaced that one for free with a brand new one. Okay, maybe it had something to do with the fact that they know what we do for a living here.