NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2001 Ford E-250

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2001 Ford E-250, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. HVAC Switch Failures NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA10003

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: April 13, 2010
    • Date Closed: March 05, 2012
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash

    Summary: This investigation was opened based on one complaint and reports from four transportation fleets alleging 182 blower motor control switch failures.ODI was concerned that these melting and burning switches could lead to an open flame that could spread throughout the vehicle.After a comprehensive review of all data related to overheating blower motor control switches in the subject vehicles, ODI did not identify the existence of a safety defect trend.ODI reviewed 1,036 complaints, claims, and field reports of failed blower motor control switches and determined that only two fires were likely to have been caused by a failing subject blower motor control switch.This represents a failure rate of 0.2 R/100K on a population of 1,076,975 vehicles that have been in service for up to 14 years.ODI has found that when the subject switches do fail and begin to melt, they are constructed in a manner that typically prevents the failing switch from igniting and developing into an open flame.Ford Motor Company has agreed to take two actions to further reduce the likelihood an overheated blower motor switch in the subject vehicles.Ford informed ODI that it has implemented a series of design changes to the subject switch that will help prevent it from developing internal high resistance short circuits.Ford has also informed ODI that it would release a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB-11-11-21) instructing subject vehicle owners to replace the electrical connector at the same time a failed switch is replaced.In light of the low rate of failure resulting in open flame and fire spread on the subject vehicles, and Ford's actions to reduce the likelihood of a switch failure through switch design changes and a TSB, further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.The agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.The ODI complaints cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following (ODI) numbers: 10427875, 10114393, 10257890For additional information, see the attached closing report.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA10003 »

  2. SPARK PLUG EJECTION FROM CYLINDER HEAD NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP05005

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 22, 2005
    • Date Closed: January 04, 2006
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline

    Summary: On September 6, 2005, ODI received a petition requesting that the Agency investigate allegations of engine spark plug ejection in certain model year 1997 through 2004 Ford vehicles with Triton V-8 and V-10 engines.ODI received a total of 474 non-duplicative complaints on the subject vehicles where the complainant, or the dealer repairing the vehicle, reported that a spark plug detached from the cylinder and/or ejected from the engine.as of December 8, 2005, ODI is not aware of any allegations where the alleged defect resulted in a loss of vehicle control, a crash, an injury, or a fatality in any of the 10,319,810 subject vehicles.in addition, ODI is aware of only two incidents where the vehicle stalled without restart.information contained in the ODI consumer complaints and obtained from 72 telephone interviews with complainants showed the following:(1) 99% of the complaints were on MY 1997 to 2002 subject vehicles.(2) most the complainants reported hearing a loud pop while driving or upon starting up the vehicle followed by a loud, repetitive clicking or popping sound.(3) many of the complainants reported that the popping sound was accompanied by some loss of vehicle power; however, in 99% of the incidents reported, the vehicle did not stall.in the very few incidents where the vehicle did stall, most vehicles could be restarted.(4) only a small percentage of the complainants cited that they smelled gas or a slight burning smell when the incident occurred.(5) in all but a very few incidents, vehicle damage was limited to the engine.in one incident, the complaint reported that the fuel rail was damaged and replaced after one of the spark plugs ejected from the engine; however, the complainant reported that the damage did not result in any type of fuel leak or fire.in another incident, the only incident where a fire was alleged, the complainant reported that no fluid leak was observed, but that a fire resulted after the spark plug had ejected from the engine and he had restarted the vehicle and driven to another location.none of the complainants reported any damage to the vehicle hood.(6) only two complainants reported that they observed what appeared to be some drops of fuel coming from the cylinder where the spark plug had failed or on the spark plug itself; however, each of these complainants reported that there was no smoke or flames as a result of his incident.as the petitioner noted, and ODI's analysis showed, it is possible for a spark plug to detach from the engine cylinder threads in the subject vehicles.however, ODI's analysis of 474 complaints describing such incidents found only a very few alleged any safety-related consequences.none of these showed any evidence of a serious safety consequence.given the large population and relatively long exposure time of the subject vehicles, the complaint analysis indicates that the risk to motor vehicle safety from the alleged defect is very low.in view of the foregoing, it is unlikely that NHTSA would issue an order for the notification and remedy of the alleged defect at the conclusion of the investigation requested in the petition.therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the Agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP05005 »

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