Skip to main content

Ford recalls 1.1 million trucks for fuel tank fire risks

Ford Motor Company and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced today that they would be recalling around 1.1 million pickups, including their top-selling F150, for a risk of the fuel tank straps corroding and breaking.

Join us...    

The 1.1 Ford and Lincoln trucks being recalled include certain 1997-2004 F150 pickups, 1997 -1999 F250 models with a gross vehicle weight rating less than 8,500lbs, 2004 F150 Heritage models and 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood pickups. Not only does this recall specifically apply to those trucks built between June 20th 1995 and August 4th, 2004, but it also specifies that this new Ford truck recall applies to trucks originally sold or currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington DC. If you live in one of the other 29 US states and your truck has never been to any of those states – your truck might be ok and it will be excluded from the recall. However, in those states mentioned above, testing has found that prolonged exposure to road de-icing chemicals (presumably the dreaded road salt) causes these metal straps to rust excessively fast and when they get bad enough – they will break. When one strap breaks, your gas tank will hang much lower than usual and when the second strap breaks from similar corrosion complicated by the extra stress added by the first strap breaking…it is also likely to break.

Once both fuel tank straps of your F150, F250 or Lincoln Blackwood break, the fuel tank is free to drop to the ground with only the fuel lines holding the tank to the vehicle. When this happens, the impact of the tank to the ground can cause the tank to crack and leak and the amount of friction between the tank, the broken straps and the road can lead to sparks. A fuel tank leak plus sparks equals a clear safety issue so Ford is getting these 1.1 million vehicles back to dealerships for repairs.

This recall is expected to begin on or around September 12th, at which points the owners of these 1.1 million trucks will be asked to return to dealerships where new fuel tank straps with increased corrosion protection will be installed – free of charge to the customer, of course. In the event that new, extra-protected straps are not available, the dealership will add a temporary securing strap to hold the tank in place safely until the new straps are in stock.

Other Ford News:
NHTSA upgrades investigation of 2010 Ford Fusion
Ford recalls F Series, Rangers and Excursion for taillight issue
Ford finishes 1 2 3 at X Games 17 RallyCross
Ford to stick with Fusion for 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
The 2012 Ford Explorer EcoBoost models to yield 20/28mpg
Ken Block introduces a new Ford Fiesta multipurpose racer

Join us...    


yongli xu (not verified)    August 1, 2011 - 9:40PM


I got your contact form your news, "Ford To Recall Pickups For Gas Tank Problem"

I have a Ford Escort 1996 and two months ago when I filled in the gas I found some leaks. then I parked in our company, later on big leak came making a gas flooding. my colleague found it and told me. I am scared to drive this car.

I live in Plymouth MI, who should I contact with and how to proceed.


Yongli Xu

Anonymous (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 10:35AM

hi my parents have a f150 2001 truck and were wondering if they will receive a letter with ref to the recall ...Rai

D (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 12:29PM

my parents also have a green f150 2001 truck, will they receive a letter to take it for recall?
We bought it at a dealership, used, but the dealership has closed since then, what action should we take?
thank you!

DARRYL (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 1:09PM

I own a 1998 F150 and recently had a problem with the straps failing. I stopped at a filling station to get gas and as it was filling up the weight caused one of the straps to break , the tank dropped a little and fuel began to spill out from the top of the tank. In addition to the new straps, I needed a new fuel tank, fuel pump and sending unit. I had everything repaired but not from a dealer, so my question is will Ford pay for those repairs that I already had done?

Anonymous (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 3:12PM

In reply to by DARRYL (not verified)

speaking from previous experience , having a different issue with Dodge, we did the work ourselves only 2 months before being told of a recall. we contacted a dealer who put us in touch with someone who knew whay was what, provided the receiptsand they paid us back. Worth a try since a recall has been announced. Good luck.

nate (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 1:28PM

Why is this not for the 97 F-350? We have a dumptruck that has both straps rusted through and barely hanging on.

Matt (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 4:06PM

I have a 98 Ford F-150. About a month ago I was taking my two children home from daycare and both straps failed while in route. The tank fell to the blacktop and wedged against the axle, dragging for about 1/2 block. Luckily we were in town and I was only going about 30mph. I can't even image what may have happened had we been on the interstate. The recall is a little to late for me, but we're fortunate no one was hurt. It would be nice to be compensated for my trouble though....

Ed Cloos (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 7:51PM

This seems to be a problem with all Fords of recent years. I have a '97 Ranger and I've already replaced the straps holdingf the tank Ford charges nearly $200 for them, but it is a $30 part. However, replacementyrequires dropping the tank and is 2 hours of labor (@$100). The job tends to cause the gas filler neck to crack--another $30 item for which Ford charges nearly $200. I love my Ranger--which will reach 300,000 miles within a year--but Ford is anti-consumer and stonewalls all complaints withoutgovernment pressure. Sure, I don't want government control, but it is absolutely necd
ssary in the Blue Oval world. I live in New York but spend all winters in Florida.

Tim (not verified)    August 3, 2011 - 11:51PM

When will they issue the recall on the 5.4L engines that eject spark plugs/coil packs from the engine directly into the fuel rail????????

Centre Tank (not verified)    August 8, 2011 - 10:06AM

It's better to be safe than sorry with this type of fault. It's good that your post has alerted people to this safety issue.

Rich (not verified)    August 18, 2011 - 7:08AM

August 14 I was driving in town(Mankato Mn), when both straps failed on my 97 F150....I dragged it about 40 feet and pulled into the first parking lot i came to-an adult bookstore called Pure was an interesting call to my girlfriend explaining why i needed a ride from the x-rated store parking lot...fortunately, the truck was still up on the flat bed( tow truck) and the evidence was plain to see...I think it would make a great ford commercial.

Anonymous (not verified)    August 21, 2011 - 9:00PM

I have a 1997 Ford 150 and have not recieved any recall notice on the truck. I have notice that the straps on the fuel tank are rusted away. The metal tray is holding my fuel tank up. What should I do?

Mike L (not verified)    August 22, 2011 - 6:58PM

I have been driving Ford trucks since 1970 and every one I kept until it was over 10 years old developed a gas tank leak either in the front or rear tank or both.I think this recall was long over due and should include the vehicles older than 1997 models.
I even bought a used F 150 from a Ford dealer once that was in great shape for an eleven year old truck. The day after I bought it I filled the rear tank and it leaked like a faucet. I took it back to the dealer and they refused to fix it.

smith41 (not verified)    August 23, 2011 - 2:22AM

Fantastic goods from you, man. Ive study your stuff ahead of and you're just as well amazing. I enjoy what you've got right here, adore what you're stating and the way you say it. High Heels You make it entertaining and you even now manage to help keep it wise. I cant wait to go through additional from you.

scott s (not verified)    August 24, 2011 - 9:08AM

even with one strap broken already ford refuses to cover replacement on my 99 f250, the excuse the straps on my truck install front to back not side to side The last straw after so many repairs/new parts. No support and poor quality? not again.

scott s (not verified)    August 24, 2011 - 9:09AM

even with one strap broken already ford refuses to cover replacement on my 99 f250, the excuse? the straps on my truck install front to back not side to side The last straw after so many repairs/new parts. No support and poor quality? not again.

Anonymous (not verified)    September 27, 2011 - 5:30PM

i took my 97 f150 to the dealer today for the strap recall, the technician said the strap rubbed a hole in the tank and should be covered for related damage, after 1.5 hours the tech said ford refused to replace the tank even though it was related damage. I called ford myself and they gave me some B.S. about it I want to find an attorney because my recall letter stated the strap could cause a leak and potential fire. I am angry because i worked for ford dealerships for 20 years and never had such disgusting BS handed to me . AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH

Debby Dixon (not verified)    December 14, 2011 - 1:50AM

I have a 1997 Ford F150 bought it new and I took it in for recall. No leaks until they put the straps on. After that the gas would shoot out the seam of the tank. So I took it back again and they said it was a clamp on the pipe that goes to the tank. I went to pick my truck up and low and behold once AGAIN it leaked out the side of the tank when I would put gas into it. You could see it just shoot out of the side of tank. I took it back again and this time they told me it was the goose neck pipe that goes into the tank that was all rusted out and it was not covered under the recall. FUNNY they didn't find it the first time and FUNNY how my trunk never leaked before I took it to the dealership to get it taken care of. Now my truck is a mess. It was fine before I took it to have the straps put on in the first place. Yeah I am looking into a attorney . These dealerships and their high dollar mechanics are going for a ride .

Tom B (not verified)    December 25, 2011 - 10:16PM

My son was driving his 2002 f150 in binghamton ny on 9/13/11 and heard a noise and had some pass him and pull him over... his gas tank was dragging on the ground sparks flying and smoke coming out. he called 911 and in the short time that he heard the noise there was a 3/4 in dia hole in the tank.

Mr. Weed (not verified)    May 15, 2012 - 8:38PM

Brought my 2003 F150 to the dealer when I got the recall notice. After they replaced the straps the tank started leaking under the rear strap.
The dealership wants $1,000 to replace the tank and it's not covered under the warranty.
There is zero rust on the tank except where the two straps are.
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to determine that faulty straps are causing the tanks to rust out. Ford should take responsibility for their safety issue.

robert smith (not verified)    March 25, 2018 - 10:34PM

had straps replaced on 2002 ford f150 when recall was posted ; noticed the excessive rust then, underneath the straps on the tank; it is now leaking. Has anyone try to correspond with Ford Motors in getting any restitution on this?