NHTSA Launches Investigation into F-150 Fuel Tanks

While an actual recall hasn’t been issued at this point, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into the fuel tanks of Ford F-150 trucks.  The company has received complaints that the fuel tanks have fallen off of the truck.  This mishap seems to be the result of rust which compromises the strength of the straps which hold the fuel tanks in place.

The interesting thing about this investigation is that the vehicles in question are nearly 14 years old.  As a personal injury lawyer in Seattle, this left me wondering just how old a car can be and still have issues that the automaker is liable for?  According to this news report, vehicles are typically not recalled after 10 years of age and the manufacturer is usually only required to provide free repairs for the recall for up to 10 years.

The NHTSA has reportedly received 32 complaints of the failed tank straps, 28 of which resulted in the tank falling and dragging on the ground, with some spilling fuel in the process.  Luckily, no car accidents or fires were caused as a result.  It will be very interesting to see if this investigation actually prompts a recall on any vehicles older than 10 years.  At this point. Ford Motor Corp. has fully cooperated with the agency.