NHTSA expands F-150 fuel tank strap corrosion investigation to 2.7M trucks

As Ford is finding out lately, having the best-selling vehicle in America for decades on end has its downside as well - potential for massive recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that it is further expanding the corroding Ford F-150 fuel tank strap investigation first reported last September. The investigation now includes 2.7 million F-150 trucks.

The expanded effort on the part of the safety agency comes after the number of consumer reports rose from the initial 32 complaints spanning from 1.4 million trucks to approximately 300 complaints that apply to roughly 2.7 million F-150 pickups - model years 1997 through 2001.

At the time of the initial investigation, no fires has been reported, but now the safety agency says at least one truck was burned up after the strap failed and the tank dragged under the truck, eventually catching fire. In another case a small fire started, but then went out on its own. No injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the possible defect.

NHTSA has not yet determined if it will request Ford to issue a recall at this time.