The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into more than 1 million Ford Motor Co. vehicles after receiving numerous complaints about defective tire valve systems manufactured by a Chinese company. According to this Associated Press news report, the federal safety agency stated that more than 4,700 complaints about these faulty tire valve systems have been filed. The valves become severely cracked and cause air to leak from the tires. The defective valves were blamed for a fatal rollover crash involving a 1998 Ford Explorer in November 2007.
Ford officials say the government investigation involves all vehicles with the tire valves, including 12 vehicles from the 2007 model year cited by the government. Ford officials also say they have â€œreceived some complaints, but no reports of crashes or injuries.â€ These valves are used in most Ford vehicles except for some models of the F-Series Super Duty Trucks and Econoline vans. The vehicles involved in the investigation include the Ford F-150, Mustang, Edge, Fusion, Expedition, Explorer, Focus and Escape, and the Mercury Grand Marquis, MKX, MKZ, and Milan.