NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1998 Lincoln Town Car

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 1998 Lincoln Town Car, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. 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 »

  2. POST REAR END COLLISION FIRES NHTSA Defect Investigation #SQ01014

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #SQ01014 »

  3. FUEL-FED FIRES NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP02007

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 22, 2002
    • Date Closed: December 04, 2002
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: The FARS data shows that the risk of fire from impact in all directions in the subject vehicles is the same as all other sedans.the subject vehicles are not over represented with respect to the risk of fire in real-world high-energy crashes.a further discussion of issues related to post crash fires in the subject vehicles is set out in the closing report for sq 01-014 and that report is in the docket for this petition.after reviewing the petition and its supporting materials, as well as information furnished by Ford and GM, and information within the Agency's possession from previous investigations and other related actions, NHTSA has concluded that futher investigation concerning post-crash fires in the subject vehicles is not likely to lead to a decision that the vehicles contain a safety defect.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP02007 »

  4. FUEL SPIT BACK DURING REFUELING NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA99010

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: April 09, 1999
    • Date Closed: May 04, 1999
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA99010 »

  5. FUEL SPIT BACK DURING REFUELING NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE98052

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 25, 1998
    • Date Closed: April 09, 1999
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: The subject vehicle is fitted with an onboard refuelig vapor recovery (orvr) system, as required by the epa.the epa safety requirements, prepared in cooperation with, and approved by NHTSA, require vehicles to be refueled at a rate of 10 gallons per minute (the maximum rate allowed to be used in refueling stations, by epa regulation) without fuel being forced out the fuel filler pipe.this requirement was based on a history of fires in filling stations and incidents of fuel spitting back are considered to be a fire safety risk.of the 114 complaints and warranty claims alleging problems while attempting to refuel the vehicle, 27 specifically stated that fuel spit-back out of the fuel filler pipe.Ford reportscomplaints are still being received.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE98052 »

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