A Virginia man whose pickup truck caught fire last year is suing Ford Motor Co. for damages over a faulty cruise control switch that has led to engine fires and millions of recalled vehicles.
Gary Medrano, of Woodbridge, Va., filed the lawsuit on Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, saying his 2000 Ford F-150 XLT caught fire in October 2006 because of problems with the cruise control switch. The suit seeks class-action certification.
The 10-count complaint does not seek a specific amount of damages, but is asking for both compensatory and punitive damages.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker has recalled more than 10 million vehicles since 1999 because of engine fires linked to the cruise control systems in trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans.
Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said the company was reviewing the lawsuit, but could not comment on the case. A message seeking comment was left Friday with St. Louis attorney Jeffrey J. Lowe, who is representing Medrano.
Medrano said the fire in his pickup truck was extinguished by the fire department, but the vehicle and its contents were left completely unsalvageable.
The lawsuit said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported at least 218 similar fires from the cruise control deactivation switches. By June 2005, NHTSA had confirmed at least 65 fires were caused by the failure of the switch system.