NHTSA investigating Ford F150 fuel tank straps - recall coming?

NHTSA investigating Ford F150 fuel tank straps - recall coming? September 13th, 2010 2:58 pm ET Patrick Rall Detroit Autos Examiner
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an
investigation to decide whether 1997-2001 Ford F150s should be recalled over concerns with corrosion on the fuel tank straps. Evidently, there have been 32 reported cases where the metal straps holding the fuel tank up have rusted to an extreme point. In 28 of these cases, one or both of the straps broke but not a single injury, fire or other serious issue was caused by the aging fuel tank straps failing. If the NHTSA decides that a recall is necessary, it could impact roughly 1.4 million trucks.
When these metal straps corrode badly enough, the straps will break and allow the fuel tank to sag. If both straps fail (which they often do when one fails), the fuel tank can drop from under the vehicle; posing an obvious safety risk if you are dragging a container full of gas under your truck . I understand that the NHTSA has to check up on things like this, thanks to Toyota's refusal to acknowledge problems that cost some of their consumers their lives. However, we are talking about trucks that are generally driven year-round and metal gas tank straps are going to rust over time. When working as a mechanic, I lost track of how frequently we replaced tank straps on all sorts of vehicles (both imports and domestics) and within the last year, I replaced the straps on one of my Dodge Rams.
When you drive a car or truck through the winter and are bombarding the undercarriage with road salt, metal components are going to rust. If the NHTSA requires Ford to recall these F150s due to rust on the fuel tank straps, it opens a massive can of worms as all sorts of items are going to rust as the vehicles grow older. This isn't an issue isolated just to Ford, so will the NHTSA require other companies to replace the tank straps on vehicles that are as old as the trucks being investigated?
http://www.examiner.com/autos-in-detroit/nhtsa-investigating-ford-f150-fuel-tank-straps-recall-coming
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On 9/14/2010 9:37 AM, C. E. White wrote:

http://www.examiner.com/autos-in-detroit/nhtsa-investigating-ford-f150-fuel-tank-straps-recall-coming
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I think that's along the line of what Ed was suggesting, and it's a very good point. Do I get my '55 Chevy Impala rusted out front fenders replaced for free because the headlights were falling out? If the NHTSA doesn't thing THAT'S a safety issue, let them drive down a rural country road at night while it's raining and turn out the lights. And that was when the car was only 7 or 8 years old :-)
If nothing else, a few lawsuits like that would certainly force the companies to have even better rust control than they already have, with the inevitable consumer price increase. -- SC Tom
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faster than they're capable of again :-)
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On 09/14/2010 09:37 AM, C. E. White wrote:

http://www.examiner.com/autos-in-detroit/nhtsa-investigating-ford-f150-fuel-tank-straps-recall-coming
My 1993 F-150 XL is a Central Florida truck, never been near the salt water beaches, or up North.
My 1994 F-150 XLT was owned by someone who lived on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Has to get a new front bumper, hood. I clean the frame rails, and all parts, like the tank straps, during the first inspection.
Frame rails get paint. Tanks straps are checked for any damage, and then they are re-attached, unless they need replacement.
I pulled their tanks, and they are cleaned, inspected, including the straps, about once after my purchasing them, and then, every year I do an underbody inspection of my vehicles.
Yes, some of the brake lines needed replacement, on the rear end of both trucks, due to simple pinholes under some small rust. The new lines got painted, shiny black, after install.
It is all part of making sure they remain reliable and trustworthy.
Part of the trouble about finding rust or corrosion on our vehicles, is that the majority don't really get any inspection, because the owners don't know, and the mechanics haven't any time.
If the dealers or shops listed an annual inspection on the menu, most folks would not pay for it!
I even see many commercial owner driver Semi trucks with the spring perches almost falling off, due to loose bolts/nuts, whenever I get to truck-stops!
I am retired USAF, and I believe in PMIs (Preventive Maintenance Inspections)! At the least, annual scheduled PMIs!
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Well, cars and trucks dont fall out of the sky. And dont cost millions a piece . And most people short of AC mechanics dont know what pm is.
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According to Fords warranty manual the latest interval, for the recommended semi synthetic oil change, are 7,500 miles OR six months WOF.

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