Blazing Switches Trigger Massive Ford Recall

Cruise-control fires start even with engines off
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2007 11:56 PM CDT
A long line of unsold 2007 F-150 pickup trucks sit outside a Ford agency in the east Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, July 22, 2007. Job cuts, slimmer losses in North America and good sales...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ford is recalling 3.6 million vehicles with cruise-control switches that have caused fires even with the engine off, CNN reports. The company recently settled a lawsuit in the death of a woman killed in her home after her husband said their Ford pickup burst into flames in the garage.

Since the cruise-control switch was introduced in 1992, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has documented more than 600 blazes. Ford "could not be confident about the long-term durability of these switches," said a company spokesman in announcing the recall. Ford denies the recalled cars and trucks have "higher than normal" incidents of fire.