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DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 8, 2003 – Ford Motor Company has initiated a voluntary safety recall involving 1998-2001 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, and 2001-2002 Ford Explorer Sport and Sport Trac sport utility vehicles, to correct potential product issues. Customers with affected vehicles will be able to have their vehicles upgraded, free of charge, at their Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealer. To determine if their vehicle is affected by this action, customers can call Ford’s toll-free line at 1-866-436-7332.

The first action involves 499,988 1999 through 2001 model year Ford Explorer, Explorer Sport and Mercury Mountaineer models, and 2001 Explorer Sport Trac vehicles equipped with 4.0 liter V-6 engines and the optional speed control system. The company has received some customer reports alleging the speed control may not disengage when the vehicle is under power. This condition can be caused, over time, by the speed control cable wearing out prematurely on some of these vehicles. The cables will be inspected and, if necessary, replaced free of charge by the dealer. Not all vehicles will require replacement of the speed control cable.

The second action, which may also include vehicles with the affected speed control cable, involves approximately 1.6 million 1998 through 2001 model year Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer models, and 2001-2002 Explorer Sport and Sport Trac models with high-back seats. There have been customer reports of the driver's side seat upper recliner to seat back frame attachment bolt fracturing on certain vehicles. Some customers have reported "looseness" and "noise" in the mechanism. There is the potential of the bolt fracturing completely, forcing the seat to fully recline unexpectedly, and the driver could potentially lose contact with the steering wheel and/or foot pedals.

No accidents or injuries have been reported in relation to either of these product issues.

Customers with the affected vehicles will be notified by mail in early September. Most customers – those with the affected seat bolts, but not the affected speed control cable – will require only one repair. Customers whose vehicles have both the affected seat back bolt and the affected speed control cable can have both repairs made in one visit to their dealer.

These product upgrades will be performed free of charge only at Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealers. If customers wish, they can call Ford’s toll free line at 1-866-436-7332 to determine if their vehicle is affected by this product upgrade.
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