The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today alerted owners of Ford vehicles about a fire hazard involving an additional 4.5 million vehicles in the latest in a series of related recalls.

Including today’s announcement (Tuesday, October 13, 2009), there has been a total of eight safety recalls involving approximately 16 million Ford vehicles equipped with a faulty cruise control deactivation switch manufactured by Texas Instruments. Visit for more information on these previous recalls.

The switch can leak hydraulic fluid, overheat and then burn, potentially causing vehicle fires even with the ignition turned off and the vehicles parked and unattended.

“These hazardous cruise control switches pose a safety risk even while the cruise control is not in use and vehicles are turned off or unattended. I urge consumers to pay attention to this warning and bring the affected models in to have them repaired as soon as possible,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

Today’s recall involves a total of approximately 4.5 million vehicles, including:

  • 1995-2003 model year Ford Windstars
  • 2000-2003 model year Ford Excursion diesels
  • 1993-1997 and 1999-2003 Ford F-Super Duty diesels
  • 1992-2003 Ford Econolines
  • 1995-2002 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers
  • 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Ford Rangers
  • And 1994 Ford F53 motorhomes

The safety agency warned consumers to be on the look out for certain warnings of possible imminent fires, including cruise control systems that stop working or can’t be activated, brake lights that stop working, brake lights and ABS warning lights illuminating on the dash board, or not being able to get the vehicle out of park.

All owners of recalled Ford vehicles should immediately make appointments with their dealers and not park their vehicles in garages or near homes until repairs are made.