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Feds probe failure of tire jacks for Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey vans

Consumer Reports News: September 19, 2011 04:23 PM

Federal investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have opened a preliminary investigation into possibly faulty car jacks that came with Ford-made minivans. The agency's Office of Defects Investigation and Ford Motor Co. has received six reports of the mechanical jacks collapsing during use.

All of the reports involve the car jacks that came with 2004-2005 model year Ford Freestyle and Mercury Monterey minivans. In all cases, the jacks appear to have failed "at the slotted hinge joints which separated" under the load of the vehicle it was supposedly designed to support.

The ODI says one of the reports include a fatality in which a jack suddenly failed to support the weight of the minivan the consumer was working beneath. As such, NHTSA is strongly advising that consumers should use mechanical car jacks only for tire-changing purposes.

Defect Investigation: 2004-2005 Ford Freestyle / Mercury Montery minivans - Equipment: Jacks NHTSA Action #: PE110033 [NHTSA]

Paul Eng

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