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Ford recalling 1.2 million trucks and vans

Recall is in addition to 4.6 million recalled last year for potential fire hazard.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.2 million large pick-up trucks, SUVs and vans because of a problem with the vehicles' cruise control system that could lead to a fire.

This recall is in addition to a total of 4.6 million Ford vehicles that were recalled for the same problem last year.

The vehicles being recalled are: certain model year 1994 to 2002 F-250 through F-550 Super Duty trucks; 2000-2002 Excursion SUVs; 1994 to 1996 Econoline vans; 1996 to 2002 E-450 vans and 1998 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs.

Diesel-powered vehicles are not affected.

In rare cases, the company said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, brake fluid can leak through the cruise control deactivation switch causing corrosion in the switch. This can cause the switch to overheat and possibly burn.

The switch shuts off the cruise control when the driver firmly steps on the brakes. The switch is located under the hood of the vehicle and is attached to the brake master cylinder on one end and wired to the cruise control on the other.

On most of its models, Ford designed the switch to be powered -- or "hot" -- at all times, even when the vehicle is off. Inside the switch, a thin film barrier separates brake fluid from the switch's electrical components.

In January, 2005, Ford recalled approximately 800,000 F-150 pick-ups for the problem.

Later that year, after numerous Ford owners complained that their vehicles caught fire when their engines were off and the keys weren't in the ignition, CNN launched an investigation into fires in Ford vehicles that had not been recalled .

In September, 2005, Ford recalled certain Bronco, Expedition, Lincoln Blackwood and Lincoln Navigator SUVs as well well as some Ford Ford F-150 and F-250 pick-ups for the same problem. A total of 3.8 million vehicles were recalled at that time.

Ford stopped using the switch in 2002.

Owners who have questions or concerns about the recall can contact Ford at 866-436-7332 or NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.

Ford stock was down Thursday morning on the reported doubling of second-quarter loss and the recall news.

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Ford recalling 3.8 million vehicles (Sept. 2005)

Ford document: Millions of vehicles have fire risk partexternal link (June, 2005)

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