Ford Recalling 1.2M Pickups
Fuel tank flaw presents fire danger
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2011 2:42 AM CDT
In this June 10, 2003 file photo, the first of Ford's 2004 F-150 trucks waits to roll off the assembly line at the Norfolk, Va., assembly plant.    (AP Photo/Gary C. Knapp, File)

(Newser) – Ford is recalling 1.2 million older pickup trucks—some of them for the third time. The company says the models affected, including 1997 to 2003 Ford F-150s, were sold in cold-weather states where road salt can corrode the metal straps holding up the gas tanks, potentially causing the tanks to hit the ground and catch fire. The problem has caused at least three vehicle fires and one injury, Ford says.

Owners of affected vehicles will receive notifications by mid-September, after which they will be able to take their pickups to a dealer to have the straps replaced, Ford says. The company hasn't said how much the recall will cost. Auto analysts say that while the recall may hurt Ford's bottom line, the brand itself is unlikely to suffer because only older models are affected. "This was the pre-recession Ford that was concentrating more on volume than quality," an analyst tells the Los Angeles Times.