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Ford Explorer Blamed for Raleigh House Fire

Posted April 24, 2008

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— Investigators say a 1998 Ford Explorer was to blame for a house fire in Raleigh early Thursday, less than 48 hours after Ford had issued a recall notice for 9.6 million cars and trucks.

The fire started at about 2:30 a.m. at 8608 Seagate Drive. The sport utility vehicle’s faulty cruise control sparked the fire, which spread from the garage to the house, investigators said.

No one was hurt.

The problem, local experts say, is a $35 switch that can overheat and catch fire. They say it is imperative to have the problem fixed immediately.

Fires begun by Ford cruise-control switches have been reported for several years and have led to recalls. Ford had issued a voluntary recall notice Tuesday for 9.6 million cars and trucks.

The company issued a similar recall last year.
In 2005, a Roxboro family had a similar fire, and Ford had issued a recall then, too.


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  • The Fox Apr 24, 2008

    From ABC News regarding all manufacturers:

    The American Automobile Association and the National Fire Protection Association issued a warning today about car fires. Last year, 266,000 car fires resulted in 520 deaths, the organizations say. Surprisingly, 75 percent of those car fires are caused not by an accident, but by bad maintenance.

  • The Fox Apr 24, 2008

    [Of course, if you look at most "US" made vehicles, they are made in Canada and assembled in the US.]As opposed to the Japanese cars that are made in Japan & China and assembled in the US.

  • 5-113 FA Retired Apr 24, 2008

    Ford Pinto?

  • dianadarling Apr 24, 2008

    meme1180 No Government time. ANYONE can look up any car if you know the owner name or even the plate number for wake county. you can see what your neighbor paid for their house. You can see a picture of it and see if they got a permit for that new deck. You can see if they registered to vote, are republican or democrat and when they have voted. Until recently your birthdate was there. There is no privacy any more.

  • wiseowl Apr 24, 2008

    i had a 1998 explorer and small wisps of smoke could often be seen coming from the steering column while driving it. i took it in for every recall and eventually it stopped. glad i don't have that car anymore.

  • tesy Apr 24, 2008


  • dh1964 Apr 24, 2008

    Whoops. I meant "Whose fault is it now?" Or, "Who's at fault now?" Or something.

  • davidgnews Apr 24, 2008

    Ford is despicable. I've already unplugged my cruise control, and they have a 'fix' (on 'national backorder' until at lest June 2008) that's merely a band-aid.

    They won't do the right thing and replace these units, because it won't 'build shareholder value' as most of these large companies like to say.

    Too bad Roy Cooper can't get off of Myspace long enough to start an investigation into their inactions.

    That's ok, I'll NEVER buy another Ford.

  • Shadow213 Apr 24, 2008

    Anyone see Fight Club....if a car company issues a recall, it must be pretty bad-- I'd be in line very quickly to have my car fixed. At any rate, Ford SUVs have gotten a lot of bad stuff going on recently...the random fires, the firestone tire/ford explorer thing...don't think i'll be getting a car from ford any time soon...

  • dh1964 Apr 24, 2008

    "The recall is over 2 years old. Not 2 days old."

    OK, all you geniuses out there blaming the truck owner - the recall issued two days ago was for 9.6 million vehicles; the one in August 2007 was for 3.6 million vehicles. For those of you who are math-challenged, that's at least 6 million MORE vehicles. (I don't know if the later figure includes the earlier.)

    Note that Ford's announcement includes the following:
    "Q. Why didn't you include these vehicles in last year's recall?
    A. Investigation of underhood fires is complex..."

    It's amazing that you guys can cut through all this complexity. Also note that Ford's announcement includes this:
    "Q. My vehicle is not a part of this recall, but it has the same switch. Is it safe to park my car in the garage?
    A. Yes."

    Perhaps a similar Q-and-A was in the last announcement. Who's fault is it now?