Federal Agency Extinguishes Investigation on Ford E-Series Switch Fires

By Joel Arellano | April 10, 2012
And another one bites the dust. No, not the Queen song. The "one" in this case refers to an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Around 2009, the federal agency started investigating reports of fires breaking out on Ford E-Series vehicles, specifically those utilizing the E350 and E450 chassis. Such Ford vans were primarily used as airport shuttles, ambulances, and even as small school buses. According to complaints filed with the NHTSA, drivers of the Ford E-Series stated they smelled burning plastic, saw smoke rising from the dashboard, or a switch knob felt hot to the touch. Investigation by the NHTSA and Ford narrowed the issue to the blower motor control switch. Ford has announced it will be making design changes to the affected E-Series switch. The automaker has also notified dealerships via technical bulletins to replace the electrical connector to the switch as well. Ford spokesperson Daniel Pierce says all these changes on the E-Series will begin sometime in May. The NHTSA, apparently satisfied with both Ford's actions and its own investigation, has closed the case. The NHTSA received around 1,036 complaints on the E-Series switch fires. A recall would have involved over one million Ford E-Series vehicles. Source: Detroit News