Fuel tank strap defect in 1997-2001 Ford F150 pickups investigated

Up to 2,700,000 Ford F150 pickup trucks could be affected by a fuel tank problem currently under investigation by safety regulators. The NHTSA said that steel straps used to hold the fuel tank in place can rust and deteriorate over time allowing the fuel tank to drop to the ground, potentially causing a fuel spill and fire. Ford F150 trucks for the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 model years are being looked into: NHTSA investigations routinely lead to manufacturer recalls, including a recent recall of F150 pickup trucks for an airbag defect.

Last year the NHTSA received 32 complaints about the fuel tank problem but no injuries have been reported as yet. NHTSA and Ford have received a total of 243 reports of the fuel tanks falling: 2 of those incidents lead to fires: one fire destroyed the pickup truck and the other fire burned out by itself. According to the NHTSA, fuel leaked in 95 of the fuel tank drop incidents. Nine people reported sparks on the roadway when the tank dropped, which would increase the chances of a fire.

For more than 30 years Ford’s F150 has been the best selling vehicle in the United States. Owners with questions about how their vehicle may be affected should contact their nearest Ford dealership. Fortunately there are no known reports of injury, however this defect poses a serious risk of harm: a fuel tank could drop on a F150 parked in a garage only to start a fire that could spread to the rest of the home.

If you have been seriously injured in an accident resulting from a fuel tank dropping in a 1997-2001 Ford F150 pickup truck, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Smith & Hassler for a free consultation regarding your potential products liability case.

This picture shows a replacement fuel tank strap installed in a 2001 Ford F150 with a badly rusted fuel tank