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NHTSA 05-98
Tuesday, December 2, 1997 Contact: Tim Hurd

Tel. No. (202) 366-9550


Ford Motor Company


Mercury Villager Years: 1997-1998

Number Involved: 6,000
Dates of Manufacture: August - September 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 97V184001 Ford Campaign No. 97S91
Vehicle Description: Passenger minivans equipped with automotive batteries supplied by GNB Technologies.
Description of Defect: The batteries have a defective negative post that can cause acid leakage and related corrosion damage.
Consequence of Defect: This condition can cause a catastrophic failure of the battery which could lead to an engine fire or battery explosion.
Corrective Action: Dealers will replace these batteries. Until a new battery is obtained, owners should not attempt to "jump start" these batteries.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin Dec. 1, 1997.
Note: Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.

NHTSA said it is publicizing the recalls to alert consumers about safety problems and encourages them to take action. Under federal law, safety problems must be remedied without cost to consumers. Currently, 70 percent of the owners of vehicles with safety problems have the recall work performed.

NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.