really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 18
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,968 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1996 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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1996 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Jan 252007

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 156,000 miles


- the contact owns a 1996 Ford F-150. The contact stated the vehicle caught on fire, and he felt that the failure was related to recall#05V388000, speed control deactivation switch. The contact heard that they will not honor the recall unless the contact paid for the labor.

- Houston , TX, USA

problem #23

Aug 182006

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,472 miles
Denton, Texas. Recently purchased used 1996 Ford F 150 truck, sat in work parking lot under a shade tree from 7:30 am-3:15 pm...and engine compartment burst into flames, destroying the truck. I was notified at 3:20 that my truck was on fire which was not able to be put out with hand extinguishers. Fire dept was called, broke windows to put out fire inside the cab. Truck was totally burned out from cab forward. Police were called, but refused to come. Fire marshall in did not respond to call. Message was left on answering machine. Shade tree was burned, but vehicles nearby were moved prior to any involvement. No personal injuries occurred.

- Corinth, TX, USA

problem #22

Sep 012005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The contact states there is NHTSA recall 05V388000 concerning the vehicle speed control deactivation switch. The part needed to repair his vehicle is not available at the local dealership. The contact spoke to manufacturer, who confirmed that the parts were not available at this time.

- Trenton, TX, USA

problem #21

Sep 102005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


The contact states his vehicle caught fire in the engine compartment while the engine was turned off. The vehicle had been parked for approximately an hour and a half. The fire spread damaging two additional vehicles that were parked nearby. The fire department came and distinguished the fire. The vehicle was deemed total loss by the insurance Agency. Afterwards he received a recall letter NHTSA campaign id number 05V017000 involving the speed control deactivation switch. No repairs could be made due to the extensive damage.

- Dexter, MO, USA

problem #20

Jul 282003

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
The consumer stated that 1996 Ford F150 caught on fire and burned. The vehicle was parked and turned off in the consumer's driveway. The truck had been parked for about twenty to thirty minutes. The cruise control was used the day prior to turning off the truck. Everything on the truck was in working order. There were no prior problems with the truck. The fire started under the hood. The consumer could not tell for certain the location was where the fire started. The fire department told the consumers where the fire started. A reported was taken by the fire department. No injuries were reported. There was property damage to an outside building that the consumer owned. The consumer took pictures of the vehicle and could supply a copy of if needed. The fire department did not give any indication of what started the fire. The vehicle was completely destroyed.

- Munfordville, KY, USA

problem #19

Jan 112005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles
On 1/10/05, I arrived home from work and parked my vehicle at approximately 6:00 pm. The vehicle was parked under the carport 15 feet away from my bedroom window. At 12:30 am, my wife and I heard a noise, looked out the blinds to find fire coming from drivers side edges of hood. Me and my son ran out to get a garden hose as my wife called 911. As I was passing by the vehicle the paint was beginning to burn off directly above the break booster. I began spraying the vehicle through the radiator grill, as my son was trying to pop the hood. I sprayed around the edges, flames were coming out mostly from the drivers side. Then the drivers side plastic tire well burned out enough, I was able to get water underneath the hood. The fire department arrived at 12:34 am. They popped the hood using their cable tool and began to apply water. Luckily the fire was extinguished within about 15 minutes, due to the fire department is only a couple of blocks away. Because of the quick response of extinguishing the fire, you can definitely tell where the fire originated. As you can tell by the pictures I have enclosed, the air filter on the right-hand side suffered heat damage, but were not destroyed. On the left side of the engine the rubber hoses and fuel lines were still intact and not burned. The only thing that was completely destroyed was the break fluid reservoir, and the cruise control switch. When the fireman examined it, they thought it may have come from the wiring harness, they had never seen the break fluid reservoir catch on fire. I only had liability insurance on this vehicle. Due to the extensive damage, I sold it for salvage only.

- Big Spring, TX, USA

problem #18

Sep 082005


  • miles


My client's 1996 Ford F-150 caught fire and was completely destroyed while it was parked in his driveway; its VIN is: [xxx] -- he requests an investigation of the same or more information as to Ford policy as to vehicles destroyed by fire before the recall. Updated 07/19/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Natchez, MS, USA

problem #17

Dec 242004


  • miles
The contact stated on 12-24-04 1996 Ford F150 caught on fire. The truck was sitting still at the time of the fire. The fire department and the police department were called. The fire originated under the hood. The truck was destroyed. The contact reported having no problems with the truck prior to the fire. He had not received a recall notice. Bought the car from a private individual. The contact called Ford since 8-4-05 and they kept saying they will call him back within 2-10 days. It has been more than a month and no one has returned the calls. The consumer's mother was taking car of all of her son's business affairs with the vehicle.

- Boston, KY, USA

problem #16

Jul 232003

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,700 miles
The cruise control cut out switch on my 1996 Ford F-150 caught on fire between noon 7/23 and 09:15 am 7/24/2005 while the vehicle was parked switch off in my garage. The brake fluid reservoir remained intact but was damaged by the fire. If it had dumped the fluid I should have lost my house, my car and probably my life. This item has resulted in a recall on some late model trucks and SUV's but I was not notified that the same switch as the recall units was on my truck. Symptoms included the cruise control becoming inoperative a couple of weeks before the fire. Thanks T hogan.

- Searcy, AR, USA

problem #15

Jun 282005

F-150 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
1996, Ford F150 pickup truck caught on fire while parked outside of the garage and the engine was not running. The truck had not been driven for at least 2 hours prior. The last time it driven was on short trip to a local gas station in which the fuel tank was filled up. Consumer was notified by a passing driver, who was in the neighborhood and knocked on the door to alert them, that truck parked in the driveway on fire. Consumer's husband and the passer by tried to put out the fire with a water hose and fire extinguishers. However, they were unsuccessful. The fire department came and put the fire out. The fire began on the left front driver's side near steering wheel. The firemen noted it smelled electrical in nature, and that the heat from fire was most extensive and contained in heat on the driver's side. The cab was burned extensively. The bed was intact, and no fire was able to reach to the gasoline tanks. The heat from fire was so extensive that left driver's side tire melted as well as the interior. Consumer spoke to Ford on 4 different occasions, who promised that someone will contact consumer through their legal department and someone may come out and look into the causes of the fire and damages. But this has yet to happen. No repairs were done. The vehicle was totaled.. there was only 68,000 miles on the vehicle.

- New Windsor, MD, USA

problem #14

Jun 222005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 66,000 miles


On June 22, 2005 the consumer's Ford F 150 began smoking under the hood while parked and turned off. The vehicle had been sitting for about 9 hours. The cruise control switch located on top of the master cylinder shorted out and looked like it was getting ready to catch on fire. The short melted the plastic reservior that holds the brake fluid to the point where it almost burned through. The owner removed the electrical connector to stop the burning. That connector was the cruise control switch. The part cooled off and the owners taped up the connector so it would not make any connection with any metal parts. The owners states that the vehicle was taken in to the Ford dealership because the check engine light would come on. This had been a problem for about a year. The dealership would turn off the light off and tell the owner that the vehicle checked out alright on their computer. They could not find the problem. They thought it was an oxygen sensor. There was no fire or police report made. The owner took pictures of the part for his records. The dealership has been notified and they gave him a form letter to call the phone numbers on the list. The manufacturer has been notified also. They said they would review the information, and sent the owner a letter in the mail. Ford responded by saying that they could not fix the problem because it was not under recall. The vehicle has been regularly maintained. On the dashboard there is a blinking ABS light that will not shut off because the part has been removed, therefore the owner can not get a inspection sticker on his vehicle, because the light is blinking. The owner can not correct the problem with the blinking light because the component needs to be fixed with the correct part.

- Danvers, MA, USA

problem #13

Jun 182005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,663 miles
1)cruise control stopped working several months ago 2)1996 F-150 parked in drive way, got in truck and could not get out of park. Looked under hood, found cruise control switch and electrical connector burnt up. The brake reservoir was seared from cruise control burning up. If it had burned thru the reservoir, the truck might have caught on fire. 3)truck has not been fixed yet, dealer said I should contact Ford, emailed Ford about fixing truck, no response yet

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #12

Apr 022005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
Contact states: A fire started which was related to the cruise control module sitting on the brake master cylinder. The fire started while the vehicle was shut off in a parking lot by itself. Some of the engine equipment burned. Consumer contacted Ford, and Ford said the vehicle was not under recall because of the year of the vehicle and tbe VIN. Consumer paid for the repair of out of his pocket.

- Edina, MN, USA

problem #11

Jun 122005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles
I have a 1996 F-150 that the cruise control quit working onseveral months ago. Yesterday, the fuse that supplies power to the "brake pressure switch" blew. I found brake fluid in the electrical connector of the "brake pressure switch." Why is this vehicle not part of the recall for this part? my dealer syas he has a replacement switch, but I am hesitant to buy. Think I'll just leave it unplugged for now.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #10

May 052005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 185,660 miles
Callers truck burned up. No warning of any kind. Local dealer said there was no recall or anything on truck. Manufacturer has not been contacted yet. Fire department came and put fire out. Report filed with fire department. Truck was totaled. The fire was a result of the cruise control device.

- Lady's Island, SC, USA

problem #9

Jun 022005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles
1996 Ford F150 had made a short trip to home depot. Approximately 1 hr. Later I smelled what seemed like burning tar. I looked and there was a large amount of smoke coming from under my hood.. upon inspection I found the cruise control brake switch smoking profusely, a small flame. And extremely hot. I unplugged it and the immediate problem stopped.. the switch is burnt and melted. If I had not been outside and found this even 5 minutes later. I would now have a burned truck. This is the same switch that Ford has recalled on the 2000 models.and admitted to having a problem as far back as the 97 models. But not on 96. I have checked their web site and there is no recall on this year. I will be taking it to the local Ford dealership soon.. but was wondering if you had any more complaints on this model for this problem.

- Fort Worth , TX, USA

problem #8

May 122005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 120,000 miles
The consumer drove the truck for about 2 hours and parked it at the house. After about four or five hours, the neighbor came over saying that the truck was on fire. There was no prior warning. The fire occurred under the hood.

- Bonham, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 292005

(reported on)

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
1996 Ford F150 caught on fire while parked. Truck burst into flames with ignition off. Truck had not been driven for approximately 30 days. Firewall held up pretty well keeping fire out of cab. The heat was so intense, the dash melted to the floor.

- Petal, MS, USA

problem #6

Apr 202005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 77,986 miles
I have a 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The truck caught on fire on April 20, 2005, at a Ford repair facility, while it was there for repair. The fire initiated at the cruise control deactivation switch, which is located on the master brake cylinder. Items affected by the fire included the cruise control deactivation switch, the master brake cylinder and power brake diaphragm, melted covers, hoses and wiring, and burned and scorched the hood, pealing a large spot of the paint. The truck has just 77,986 miles. Photographs of the damage are available on request. Even though this switch is the same part, identified with the same part number by Ford, and the same design as that currently under recall in model years 2000 " 2001, Ford has refused to pay for the repairs. I learned about this decision from a conversation I had with the service representative. The estimated cost for the repairs, using some used components, is about $1,000. When I called the parts department at the dealership, I was informed that the current switch is no longer available. It would be replaced with a new design, the same as on the recall for the 2000 " 2001 models. The new part includes a switch (transducer), as well as a jumper cable containing a new diode and plug. The new part sells for $24.29. It is fortunate that this fire occurred while the unit was parked outside of the repair facility. It would have been much more serious if it were inside the building, exposing the mechanics to smoke and fire. This truck is driven by my 18 year old daughter to and from school and around town. I had the truck in for repairs to be assured that when she started college next fall the unit would be reliable for her. Had this switch caused a fire while she was driving we could have lost her. That is just not acceptable! the recall should be expanded to include all of the units that have this cruise control deactivation switch. Too many people are at risk.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #5

Jan 082005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 143,750 miles
Cruise control started acting up one day, . it would unexplainably drop out periodically, causes vehicle to rapidly decelerate on freeway, resulting in unsafe conditons on busy intersate. Now cruise control quit working all together.

- Spring Hill, TN, USA

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