DETROIT – Ford Motor Company has announced a recall of its new 2005 Ford Five Hundred sedan in order to fix a faulty gas tank strap that may result in a vehicle fire. The recall also includes the Ford Freestyle and the Mercury Montego, vehicles that share the underpinnings of the Five Hundred. In total, more than 123,000 U.S. vehicles are included in the recall, which centers on vehicles built between January and June of 2005 at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant. Including Canada, the recall totals approximately 225,000 vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), a steel strap that holds the gas tank in place may break free, causing the fuel tank and fuel tank shield to drop onto the driveshaft of all-wheel- drive vehicles and the exhaust system of front-wheel-drive vehicles. Should this occur, drivers may notice a noise or a fuel leak, and the defect could also cause a vehicle fire when combined with an ignition source. Ford voluntarily announced the recall, which is expected to begin on December 1, and is asking owners of the affected vehicles to bring their cars into their nearby Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealer for repair. Ford also announced the recall of close to 100,000 model year 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans in order to fix a battery cable that may scrape against a bolt and cause a fire.
The recalls come at a time when Ford is attempting to improve the quality of its vehicles, and on the heels of a fire-related recall totaling nearly 4 million trucks and SUVs in September.