CAS Consumer Advisory

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.


Ford Tells Dealers But Not Consumers Free Repair of
Fuel Tank Hazards on 1999-2001 Models

CAS Petitions CA, CT, VA and WI Attorneys General under Secret Warranty
Law &
Advises Consumers to Take Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Town Car In for

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) advises owners of the 1999-2001 Crown
Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Town Car to take their car in for
free repairs under Ford Technical Service Bulletin
(TSB) 01-21-14 to reduce the risk of rear impact crash fires in these
vehicles which has caused at least 30 burn deaths in 70 fatal fire crashes.
Although the TSB covers all 1992-2001 models, Ford will only pay for free
repairs during the 3 year/36,000 miles express warranty.

Since Ford never sent owners the TSB or notified them that they were
entitled to free repairs, this constitutes a classic secret warranty where
Ford tells dealers but not consumers about the free repair policy. CAS
has petitioned the Attorneys General in California,
Connecticut, Virginia
and Wisconsin to force Ford to comply with the
Secret Warranty Laws in those states and make the free fix available for
all vehicles within warranty on October 22, 2001 when the TSB was issued.

The root cause of the Ford crash fires is a poorly located gas tank in
the crush zone of a rear impact where it can be punctured by any number
of objects between the bumper and rear axle. Ford has identified two such
puncture mechanisms – (1) an attaching hex nut bolt for the park
brake cable and (2) a sharp tab on the rear stabilizer bar U-bracket and
told dealers how to eliminate these puncture hazards in Technical Service
Bulletin (TSB) 01-21-14 on October 22, 2001. Every 1992-2001 Crown Victoria,
Grand Marquis and Town Car should have these repairs made to reduce the
risk of fire crashes in rear impacts. However, 1992-1998 owners will have
to pay for the repair and hold onto the receipts until NHTSA forces a
recall or a class action obtains reimbursement.


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