By on October 22, 2010

Welcome to Tinfoil Time. A public service for paranoids and their enemies. When the NHTSA went after Toyota for their runaway cars, some people (me, included) saw this as a transparent attempt to undermine Toyota in order to make GM and Chrysler (A.K.A new arms of the US government) more attractive both in terms of purchasing their products and the IPO’s. But now that the circus is leaving town, is the NHTSA looking for a new victim? Whilst searching the net, I saw (part of) an article (sub) which mentions how Ford’s North American market share is on the rise. Sure, Toyota’s market share in the U.S. dropped by 1.5 percent compared to September 2009. But GM did not pick up those sales. They lost 2.8 percent. The winners were Ford (+ 1.4 percent), and Chrysler (+2.1 percent).I also remember a poll that was taken which claimed that how 54 percent of people were less likely to buy a GM car because of their bailout. Rising sales at Ford and bad will towards GM? I’ve seen this scenario before! The next stage is now the NHTSA will tell us to stop driving our Fords. Trouble is, Ford doesn’t have any recalls of recent. So what can the NHTSA do? You recycle a recall.

The Detroit News reports that the NHTSA is urging owners of Fords to have their vehicle checked out over the infamous cruise control fire hazard. The NHTSA claims that only 40 percent of the 14 million+ vehicles which were affected, have come in for service. The industry standard is 70 percent after 18 months. “It appears that there are still far too many people who have ignored the company’s notification to bring their vehicles in for the free repair,” NHTSA administrator David Strickland said, “We’re urging owners of these previously recalled Ford vehicles to take them in to their Ford dealers for this vital repair if they haven’t already done so.” Ford was nothing but supportive. “We support NHTSA in this effort and have communicated extensively with customers in an effort to encourage higher repair rates,” said Wes Sherwood, Ford spokesperson, “We have notified all owners multiple times and continue to notify affected customers of the recall.”

I just find the timing of this “reminder” slightly suspect. This recall has been going on for significantly longer than 18 months. Why is the NHTSA only now reminding people? Why wasn’t Ford in the crosshairs of the NHTSA back when, when the dubious complaint database contained pretty much the same amount of unsubstantiated sudden acceleration allegations against Ford? Is this just a surreptitious way of containing Ford so they don’t get so big they encroach on GM? Yes, I know this is Tinfoil Hat territory, but this just runs too close to the Toyota scenario. Bertel, you got any lithium? My head is aching…. [ED: Sorry, no can do. The Japanese cornered the market. They’ll probably trade it for rare earth …]

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15 Comments on “Tinfoil Dept.: Ford, The Next Public Enemy?...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    This cruise control switch issue has been going on for YEARS and involves millions of vehicles. Now, Ford won’t have the parts to fix it when people go in, but at least they can deactivate the switch so it isn’t a fire hazard. I would venture to guess that because the recall involves so many older vehicles, many of them are no longer on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      John Fritz

      You are correct about this switch being installed on a lot of older vehicles but, as I understand the issue, this switch can not be disabled as a fix. It’s the switch that senses applied braking pressure and tells the cruise to kick off when you step on the brakes. You sort of need this switch if you want to use your cruise.
       
      As a side bar, I had a ’91 Grand Marquis that had the cruise control fail in the engaged mode. Its own little runaway acceleration event. Pretty interesting.

  • avatar
    geeber

    I’m not seeing a conspiracy as much as an agency that needs to find something new to do…

  • avatar
    rpm1200

    I traded in my ’97 Crown Vic in ’05 (and the cruise had already been disconnected) and still got multiple subsequent recall notices from Ford. I am sure, however, that lots of people did not have the recall work done.
    When I saw this report of a car fire that ended up destroying a McDonalds I wondered if it was a Crown Vic that had not had the recall repair performed. The fire started in the engine bay of a car idling at the drive-thru window. http://firegeezer.com/2010/07/29/drive-thru-burgers-overdone/

  • avatar
    musiccitymafia

    So how was the show Martha?

  • avatar
    nonce

    What is this, election season or something?
     
     

  • avatar
    GetRealSoon

    I had my cruise control recall fixed on my 2001 F-150 but still my truck burned to the ground. Ford said, “Tough!” Not that’s Ford tough.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    “The NHTSA claims that only 40 percent of the 14 million+ vehicles which were affected, have come in for service.”
     
    Isn’t that the whole idea behind delaying a recall as long as possible?

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I see this as the NHTSA looking out for the people who forgot about the recall.  Nothing more.
     
    I also don’t see the NHTSA investigation into Toyota’s UA problems a gov’t conspiracy into making Toyota look bad to prop up the GM and Chrysler.  If that was the case, why would it take the Saylor crash for it to get popular in the media and then the investigation to happen.  Unless you think there is an undercover agent working at a particular Lexus dealer in California.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Ford would actually have to acknowledge that their vehicles are problematic before a recall gets issued.
     
    Hell, the braking system failed on their 2010 Fusion…and it wasn’t until a consumer advocate magazine reported on it that Ford did anything…..yet they fixed the problem at the factory three months prior.
     
    Bold Moves indeed.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Tell me Z71 – when you get blocked from various boards for trolling, do you kick your dog in the head for jollies?

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    Z71, silly boy, read the article. There is a recall, it’s just the response to it has not been very high, so NHTSA is giving the pudding another stir. Your post says that there was no recall. Now, why don’t you go back to sucking on the tailpipes of Corvettes, or whatever it is you do to maintain that fine brain of yours in tip-top (indeed, unused) condition.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    @Cammy Corrigan/Katie Puckrick: Yes it is time to put on your tinfoil hat. I would imagine with the fairly dismal response rate that this recall has had, this is probably an attempt to mop up the last of these old Fords that might still be out there, not fixed and unaccounted for. Most of these cars that have that cruise control hardware must be getting up to 20 years old or so, but with people keeping cars longer all of the time I think it makes sense to try and catch the last of them.
     
    I did get one of these for my 1990 Mercury Topaz years ago,  I had the car taken in for it’s repair(?), but by that time the cruise was another DOA item on that POS. Several years later, I bought a used Grand Marquis, but I refused to park that car in my garage (which is underneath my bedroom) knowing about the defect. Buying the car used, I had no way of knowing if it had been recalled and corrected or not.
     
    @Z71: Post away, baby! While I don’t share your dislike of Ford products, I don’t think you’re doing anything different than all of the irrational comments that other posters on this board throw at GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, VW, et al, products. Hit that “submit comment” button as often as you like.
     
    I know I will.


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