Action 9

Action 9: Consumer claims truck fire caused by defect

Within minutes a fire destroyed a local man's Ford F-150 truck and two vehicles parked next to it.
He blamed a hidden recall for the fire but says Ford never responded, so he called Action 9.
Consumer investigator Todd Ulrich tracked down answers for him and why one expert calls it a hazard that has not been fixed.


Paul Caporizzo first spotted the fire from his living room window. He recorded video of the flames shooting out of his Ford F-150 pickup truck in the driveway.
You'd hear something go pop and big flames and pop,” Caporizzo said.
When firefighters arrived, his Ford's hood had melted, and the truck was beyond salvaging.
I was in total shock watching my truck go up like that,” Caporizzo said.
The fire destroyed two more vehicles that were next to the truck.
Caporizzo said he parked the truck four hours earlier and he didn’t notice anything wrong.
Who do you blame for the fire?” Ulrich asked.
“Ford, absolutely,” Caporizzo replied.
He found a seat belt fire recall online and suspected that was the cause.
Caporizzo contacted Ford. The automaker then asked for pictures and the fire investigators report. He says Ford promised a response, but he never heard back. Caporizzo contacted Action 9.
This will catch all this harness completely on fire,” said repair expert Jay Zembower. He suspects a cause he's found before in older F-150 pickup trucks. The commonly known alternator connection fire. It's an obvious danger,” Zembower said. He says the connection to the alternator can overheat, melt, and in some cases trigger a slow burn, like Caporizzo’s four-hour delay.
Zembower says there's no recall even though it's a known problem and can be easily found online.
He says Ford sells a repair kit. “It should not be happening. It should absolutely not,” Zembower said.
Caporizzo was hoping Ford could help since he says the insurance claim barely covered his loss.
Something's wrong here and Ford had to know it,” Caporizzo said.
Zembower said the faulty alternator connection has been found in F-150s built from 2003 to 2013.
Ford did not respond to our questions.
Comments on this article