Models Affected: 1992-2003 Ford Econolines, 1993-1997 and 1999-2003 Ford F-Super Duty diesels, 1994 Ford F53 motorhomes, 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Ford Rangers, 1995-2002 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, 1995-2003 Ford Windstars, 2000-2003 Ford Excursion diesels and more.
Cause: Defective cruise control switch that can cause fires.
Number of Incidents: More than 1,100
Number of Alleged deaths: None officially caused by defect; several wrongful death lawsuits filed.
Shockingly, Ford’s 10-year-long, multimillion-vehicle experience (tallying some eight different recalls based on the same faulty cruise control switch) isn’t even the worst incident in the company’s history. In 1980, the company managed to avoid a 20 million-vehicle recall over a defective transmission by sending stickers to millions of consumers warning them not to leave the car running; Mother Jones magazine alleged at the time that the problematic transmission had killed dozens of people.