DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it will add 4.5 million older-model vehicles to the long list of those recalled because a defective cruise control switch could cause a fire.
The latest voluntary action pushes Ford's total recall due to faulty switches to 14.3 million registered vehicles over 10 years, capping the company's largest cumulative recall in history involving a single problem.
The recall covers 1.1 million Ford Windstar minivans that had a small risk of fire due to internal leaking from the switches. Ford said in a letter to federal regulators that it found a small number of reported fires linked to the problem during an internal investigation that began last year, but did not specify how many.
The remaining 3.4 million vehicles are Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. Ford said there were no reports of fires with those models, most of them trucks and sport utility vehicles, but that they were included in the recall because they use the same switches. All vehicles covered by the recall are from the 1992 to 2003 model years.
Ford advised owners of all vehicles covered by the recall to park them outside until they are mailed instructions by the end of the month on how to get repairs.