Ford urged to go for home run with removal of mercury switches

Sep 16, 2005 | 08:38 AM | Scott Robertson

Baseball star Bobby Abreu of the Philadelphia Phillies set a record this summer by smashing 41 home runs as part of Major League Baseball's annual Home Run Derby at Detroit's Comerica Park.

Those interested in seeing mercury switches removed from automobiles say Ford Motor Co. can add to the home run binge if it takes advantage of a unique opportunity over the next several weeks and months.

The Dearborn, Mich.,-based automaker recently announced a recall of some 3.8 million pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles manufactured between 1994 and 2002 to fix cruise control switches that are believed to be the cause of some 1,100 engine fires. It is one of the largest vehicle recalls in history.

Members of the Partnership for Mercury-Free Vehicles said the recall represents an opportunity for Ford to remove the environmentally hazardous mercury switches in the vehicles.

"This is a chance for Ford to step into the batter's box and hit a home run," said William Heenan, president of the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), Pittsburgh. "It's an opportunity for dealers to take the mercury switches out when the (recall) cars are brought in. It would take very little time and very little money to do it."....

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