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US:Law firm claims Ford defect,Engines in question in 17 million vehicles

Law firm claims Ford defect
Engines in question in 17 million vehicles

By Harry Stoffer
Automotive News

A California law firm is asking federal safety officials to investigate as many as 17 million Ford Motor Co. vehicles for what it says is a costly and dangerous engine defect.

The petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says spark plugs can blow out of the engines because cylinder heads have too few threads and contain a metallurgical weakness.

The petition says the engines, 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter V-8s and a V-10, are in 1997-2004 E-series vans, F-series pickups, SUVs, Mustangs and Crown Victorias.

The petition was submitted in late August. Its existence was made public on NHTSA's website Monday.

Anyone can file a defect petition, and agency officials say they need to evaluate this one to determine whether to accept or reject it.

The petition, filed by attorney Donald Ricketts of Santa Clarita, Calif., claims spark plugs have shot out of Ford engines thousands of times. And it says the defect is a safety hazard, both because the plugs become projectiles and because they can start fires. Plus, engines often must be replaced, the petition says.

The petition asks that Ford be fined $15 million for failing to disclose the defect.

Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said Monday that the company hasn't seen the petition. She says the company was aware of some vehicles with mismatched spark plug and cylinder head threading. But she says there were "not enough for us to indicate a systemic issue."

Ricketts could not be reached late Monday.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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