Ford Truck Fire Danger

Tuesday, February 27th 2007, 10:36 am
By: News On 6

The government has ordered a recall of millions of Ford Trucks over the past couple of years, and there have been reports of hundreds of fires that have been connected, or could be connected to the cruise control switch. A Tulsa man says his Ford pickup truck burst into flames, and he suspects its because of the cruise control defect. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg reports now Skeeter Lott wants to know who’s going to pay to fix his truck.

Skeeter Lott bought a 2000 F-150 from the Jim Norton Buick dealership last February. Then in September, while it was parked and turned off in the parking lot at a Warehouse Market, he heard over the store's PA system that it had caught on fire.

"There were flames shooting out of the hood, probably four-foot tall, and three guys from Warehouse Market out there with fire extinguishers trying to put it out,” said Lott. “It was pretty scary."

Unbeknownst to Lott, millions of Ford trucks have been recalled for a faulty deactivation switch in the cruise control system, the government determined that faulty switch could lead to an underhood fire. Lott found out about that defect the hard way.

"Actually the firemen that came and put it out told me about the recall status, to see if there was a recall for that vehicle and there was," Lott said.

His first step was to call Ford. A representative told him to take pictures of his truck and send them in. Later, they sent him a letter, saying quote, "due to the extensive amount of damage, they were unable to verify a manufacturer's defect."

"I was pretty upset, didn't know what to do next," Lott said.

He decided to call the Jim Norton dealership.

"And what did they say?" asked News on 6 reporter Steve Berg.

"That I needed to get with Ford to have them look at it,” said Lott.

The News on 6 spoke to Jim Norton Ford, officials acknowledged that Mr. Lott's truck did not get the recall fix. They say they bought the dealership a short time before his truck was purchased, and didn't have access to the database that said which trucks needed the fix and which ones didn't. Lott, Ford and Jim Norton officials have exchanged several phone calls since then, but it's still not clear who, if anybody, is required to pay for the damage to his truck.

Lott says he won't be buying any more Fords, although he says he's still paying for this one.

"I'm still making payments,” he said. “It's kind of rough. I'm still making payments for something I don't get to use."

The dealership’s General Manager says they are still working to resolve the issue and says Lott should be getting a call from Ford. Lott says he hasn't heard anything yet.