Recall Alert: 1997-2004 Ford F-150, F-250 and Lincoln Blackwood for Fuel Tank Straps


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 11-month investigation into whether the steel straps holding the fuel tanks on 1997-2001 Ford F-Series pickup trucks can corrode and break has turned into a full-blown recall.

Ford is recalling 1.1 million trucks from the 1997 to 2004 model years, including the 1997-2003 Ford F-150, 2004 Ford F-150 Heritage edition, 1997-1999 Ford F-250 (with a gross vehicle weight rating under 8,500 pounds), and 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood.

Trucks included in the recall were originally sold or currently registered in the following cold-weather states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

Exposure to road de-icing chemicals may cause the fuel tank straps to corrode. A fire can start if a dragged fuel tank ruptures from road contact or if the tank falls away completely, causing fuel lines and linkages to leak or break.

Ford says it has eight reports of the tanks falling from F-150 pickups and three related injuries.

Dealers will replace the straps with new ones with more corrosion protection. If no straps are available, the dealer will install a cable support as an interim repair until new straps are available.

If you own an F-150 from the affected model years, you may want to inspect the fuel tank straps to see if there's rust.

Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.

[Source: NHTSA]


What's Ford going to do if they are?

Dealers will replace the straps with new ones with increased corrosion protection. If there are no straps available, the dealer will install a cable support as an interim repair until new straps are available.

Nobody should be surprised at this! It is like a broken record for Ford anymore. Recall after recall!

wow it was a recall for ford every two years now it seems like every other week,ford sucks

A fuel tank strap rusted to the point of breaking on my 2000 GMC Sierra. Also, my rear brake lines (same truck) rusted to the point of bursting. I've reported both incidents to NHSTA.

No recall for my GMC. Hmph.

I wonder how long it will take for this thread to be closed??
I don't see Bob's name yet.
His post must of been deleted.
Explains his trolling of the Ridgeline thread.

Years ago, if something rusted off or broke - it was viewed as "the owner's problem".
I do agree that manufactures have to take responsibility for their design mistakes but who decides the fine line between "my fault and their fault"
or "its an old beater, tough luck".

Maybe Ford made those straps out of the same grade of chinese steel they used on the RAPtorn frames?

i had a 2000 Chevy 1500 extended cab and i also had a strap break. Didnt report it just fixed it no big deal to me just seams like regular maintainence that needs to be done. Salt wreaks havoc on vehicles.

wonder how long this thread will be open

Interesting recall for trucks that could be approaching their 15th birthday soon. Where is the line between normal wear and tear and company responsibility. Go to the northeast or the northern midwest and look around. There are vehicles of all makes and models rusting after a few winters in the snow and salt.

I have seen 2000 and newer GM trucks where the whole lower cab is rotting away, rams their fenders getting cancer and fords with the lower edges of their doors and beds rusting through. As well as trucks of all makes with rusty tailgates and rear fenders. It comes with the territory of driving in those parts of the country in those conditions.

Now, if this was happening to vehicles in the southwest and south as well, then there is quite possible a legit issue with the design that should be addressed, however, even in those areas, a 10-15 year old vehicle is very capable of being trashed if it hasn't been taken care of.

Well maybe GM and Ram will need additional tax payer money to issue a recall lol.

I like to see a manufacturer step up and replace parts under a recall, but for 10 - 15 year old trucks? These recalls are getting a little out of hand and will cost us all more money in the end.

Made by the same manufacture of the tacoma frames?

Strange I live in Canada and because of the salt and what not I check these straps every year. Just replaced one on my 98 chev last year. Maybe I should see if I can get my money back.


There you go folks...

You see I am not the one instigating any more, it is individuals like sandman4X4...

Credibility= zero

Went to Ford today and they are replacing the straps tomorrow morning. I live in Indianapolis. Mine were a bit rusty but It happens with winters.

@ michael

Its interesting you point out the idea of how long should they last in salty climates........ I agree with you totally

It's also interesting to me that MANY of the Ford fans on here were quick to SLAM toyota for the Toyota Tacoma frame recall sighting they take way too long to react yet that was a voluntary recall and Those included trucks from 1995-2001.

The important thing is that its being fixed.

@ hemi
I dont see how anything over 10 years old can be considered the manufacturers problem if it is related to rust or normal wear and tear. I think a lot of people got on toyota because it was the cool thing to do a year ago in the midst of the pedal thing. Toyota makes fine small trucks, the taco is ugly imho but is the beat truck available for a midsize.

The difference between the Tacoma and here is huge. The F-150 had just a simple strap rust out. If the strap rusted out before the recall, you could easily replace it yourself. The Tacoma had the entire frame rust out and the entire trucks were bought back and totaled. If the frame rusted to make in undrivable, you were screwed before the recall. And a lot of people did not get back equal value. They got a settlement and had to buy a new truck. Ford with the the strap, people were out of the money for a new strap before the recall. Big difference.

Just stating the facts mam. See Oxi: that is what everyone has been telling you, an you don't want to listen. I guess I'll have to keep a close watch on the fuel tank straps on my new F-150 4X4 EB 8'bed reg. cab. This truck would deff. make a great expidition truck, lots of room for me an my wife, and a lot more fuel capacity. A friend of mine has one of those tear drop campers, sleeps 2, has outdoor ketchen w/sink, shower, porta-potty. This unit is real cool, he has modified the unit with an old Ford rear end from a Ranger, mounted a hvy dty starter with the power from the truck he pulls it with, and if he needs it the unit will add drive to the wheels, foward an reverse. In the bed he has everything you stated for deep off road travel, now that would be nice on those deep woods logging & hunting trails in up-state ME.

this is a old problem wy they do the recall now.......

Winters here in Illinois suck. If there is even a hint of snow on the road, all the roads will be covered in salt. As much rust as the bottom of my doors/lip right above my steps have, Im thinking checking the tank strap might be a good idea. Wish I could afford a new truck. Id have the bottom of the cab/frame/ anything else that doesnt involve moving parts, coated in rhino lining.

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