Another Ford Recall

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 110,633 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers to fix a device that is supposed to limit the vehicles' top speed— a problem that was uncovered during tests prompted by the Firestone tire recall.

The action is the latest in a series of recalls Ford has had over the past several months. Dealers were meeting with top Ford executives Monday to discuss the high number of recalls.

Ford said that model year 1999 and 2000 Explorers and Mountaineers with a 3.27 or 3.55 rear axle ratio and 15-inch Firestone Wilderness AT tires could reach a top speed above the 112 mph rating of the tires.

A computer chip in the vehicles is supposed to limit their top speed to 106 mph, but a bug was discovered in the software.

Customers will be instructed to take their vehicles to dealers, who will reprogram the chip for free.

No accidents or injuries have been blamed on the problem, Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said.

Vaughn said the problem was found when Ford began testing every tire and axle combination on the Explorer after the recall of 6.5 million Firestone tires over the summer.

This is the second recall for the Explorer this month; Ford earlier recalled 867,413 1995-97 Ford Explorers and 1997 Mercury Mountaineers to fix a problem with suspension components.

Meanwhile, a report published in USA Today claims Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. are ready to report to government investigators that they have reached similar conclusions regarding tire failures blamed for 148 deaths nationwide.

According to the paper's Monday edition, the conclusions would clear workers producing the Firestone tires and the Ford Explorer vehicle, to which many of the fatalities have been linked.

Written By Justin Hyde
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