Windstar 2003 Fire - What caused it?


#1

My dad came from Canada to live with us. He brought his Canadian made 2003 Ford Windstar with him. After getting it registered in the U.S., we advised him to cover it for collision only. Unfortunately, late last fall, he got in and tried to start it. All he heard was a pop and then all of a sudden flames started to shoot out from under the hood. He got out of the van and tried to pop the hood, but it was already too hot. The whole thing burned to the ground. My dad was fine and nothing else was damaged. I called Ford numerous times on this, but they never returned my calls. The van was up on all its services, the most recent one being done in the states. Since there was no comprehensive coverage, no one came out to investigate the source of the fire. I am just looking to some suggestions as to what could have gone wrong. I have heard some anecdotal evidence that it has happened to other people’s friends with Windstars, but no concrete cause. (My dad now owns a Hyundai.)


#2

It’s unlikely that anyone here will ever know the cause either. Here are a couple of wild guesses.
Either a high pressure fuel line broke or became disconnected. The fuel lines are normally good for the life of the vehicle and rot should not be a factor. The lines are held in place with locks and if one of those became disconnected then one should think back as to whether there has been any recent servicing of the vehicle (injectors, fuel line flushing, etc.). If someone did not fully seat a fuel line in its lock it’s possible that the line could eventually pop loose and cause an instant fire.-

Many late model Fords are under a recall for the cruise control deactivation switch. This switch is a fire hazard and there have been 2 known cases in my area in which homes were partially burned after the vehicles caught on fire while parked in attached garages. I do not know offhand if the Windstar is covered under the recall or not.
If the fire started around the master cylinder on the dr. side that would be my suspect anyway.

Just theories anyway. Hope it helps.