Ford Attempts to Douse Its Mustang Fireball Problem

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford attempts to douse its mustang fireball problem

It was a hot summer, but not quite as sizzling as the top-end Mustangs seen enveloped in flames at various U.S. track days.

Ford Motor Company is attempting to put a lid on that burning pot of controversy — and danger — by recalling 8,000 Shelby GT350/R Mustangs for a defect that could be blamed in a number of spectacular fires.

Announced today, Ford will recall 8,026 examples spanning the 2015 to 2017 model years. According to the automaker, the problem lies in the engine oil cooler tube assembly.

“In affected vehicles, engine oil cooler tube assemblies may have insufficient crimps on the hose that could lead to a hose separation and an oil leak,” Ford states. “Sudden loss of engine oil may result in engine failure, and – in the presence of an ignition source – could lead to a fire.”

That seems to be what happened at the Roebling Road Raceway in Georgia this past summer, leading to the situation you see above. Driver Joe “HiPo Joe” Charles escaped without injury, but not before going on a wild ride. His Mustang was travelling 100 miles per hour when the oil dump occurred, and a hot exhaust made sure it didn’t just make things slippery.

Ford claims it doesn’t know of any accidents or injuries resulting from the issue, though some would disagree. TTAC’s own Bozi Tatarevic and Bark M. witnessed a GT350/R fire on a Charlotte, North Carolina track in late August. The fire looked to be caused by a similar issue, Tatarevic claims.

The afflicted Fords left the Flat Rock assembly plant between February 24, 2015 and August 30, 2016. Of them, 6,523 call the U.S. home, while another 957 went to Canada, 346 to Mexico and 59 to the territories. With luck, no more Mustangs will burn up the racetrack. Literally, of course.

While the GT350/R ignites both passions and oil, less sexy Ford products also contain a fire risk. The automaker has recalled 411,663 2010-2012 Ford Escape and 2010-2011 Mercury Mariner models equipped with 3.0-liter engines to replace the fuel delivery module flange assembly.

Ford claims “the fuel delivery module fuel supply port could develop a crack, causing a possible fuel leak.”

[Image: HiPo Joe Charles/Facebook]

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  • EBFlex EBFlex on Oct 26, 2016

    Nice to see Big Al's legacy still living on. Profits now, recalls later was never a good business model. These Mustangs are so bad though, it's only the right thing to let them burn up.

  • Rudiger Rudiger on Oct 27, 2016

    And Z06 owners thought 'they' had overheating problems.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.