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If you own a Ford Thunderbird or Cougar, model years 1994-1997 (1997 was the model year production was stopped), or a 1992-1996 F-Series/Bronco, then read this. Due to the desire for production, Ford Motor has defects in these products which they should pay for, not the owner.

T-Bird/Cougar: The glove box latch breaks at the mounting screws. All of the other attachments could also break. The glovebox door is a safety item and must pass NHTSA requirements for crash. With these failures, the glovebox has little or no safety attributes. This item needs replacement. Ford Motor should be forced to pay since this problem arises from oil getting onto the screws which attach the steel and bin to the door during assembly of the glovebox. Polycarbonate is the material of the door. It has been shown when the material has been highly stressed, such as driving a screw into the boss (the tube which accepts the screw), petroleum based products will degrade the mechanical properties of the polycarbonate, resulting in material failure. This was a manufacturing problem which Ford politics dictated a cover up. They increased the diameter of the boss which was unneccessary. With the increase in boss size, the added material would cause sink marks on the finished surface. To resolve this, they removed material thickness of the door around the boss which may decrease the mechanical properties of the door for crash. These changes was never crash tested. Since the effect of oil is dependent upon heat and time, it may take several thermal cycles to appear in the northern climates. You should not pay for this failure. The passenger's safety is at stake! You should contact NHTSA and The Center For Auto Safety and report this.

Also, check the attachment of the glovebox striker. That is the part that locks into the glovebox latch and is mounted to the steel frame inside the instrument panel. There should be a stud the striker slips over and a nut which secures the striker. Until the spring of 1996, the repair used in production was not tested. If you see a screw, then during production, the nut stripped the threads of the stud and the stud was removed and a self tapping screw was used to repair the striker attachment. This repair was never tested and the screw relies only on a single thread of engagement between the screw and metal. Due to vibrations, the probability of this attachment to loosen is high since the vibrations can cause the hole the screw is driven into to elongate. You should contact NHTSA and The Center For Auto Safety and report this.

F-Series/Bronco: The instrument panel (dash panel) has an integral structural duct. It is made of high heat ABS plastic. Due to the vibrations acting on the panel, the right hand mounting tab may fracture causing the panel to have no structural attachment on that side. You can check to see if your right hand mounting tab is plastic. Open the passenger side door. Look on the same surface where the push switch for the interior light is. Behind the kick panel which wraps around, you can see the tab. There is a repair kit available. However, you should not have to pay for this. The problem was discovered and extensive testing proved this defect repeatable. A metal bracket was designed for the repair and was eventually put into production. If the Instrument panel is allowed to vibrate for a while after the mounting tab fractures, the attachments which hold the steering column to the structural duct could fail. You should contact NHTSA and The Center For Auto Safety and report this.

The outer skin is made of polycarbonate. Petroleum based products will degrade the mechanical properties of polycarbonate. Petroleum based products have been known to enter the production process. The areas where the instrument panel attaches to the cowl (near the windshield) can crack, and have cracked. Excessive amounts of conditioners could cause the material to crack also. Since the effect is dependent upon heat and time, it may take several thermal cycles to appear in the northern climates. You should contact NHTSA and The Center For Auto Safety and report this.

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