I just saw a news item regarding NHTSA’s probe regarding corroding fuel tank straps in Ford F-150s. Apparently, out of the 300 gagillion F-150s the manufacturer built between 1996 and 2001, 28 of them had fuel tank straps that rusted away and dropped the fuel tank on the ground.
Now I can certainly see NHTSA going after Toyota for building trucks that had frames that were rusting to pieces four years after they rolled off the assembly line. But the newest trucks involved in this probe are now nine years old. The oldest are 15 years old. Where we live, four months out of the year we coat the roadways in salt and sand. The average driver, putting 15,000 miles a year on a vehicle, would rack up 225,000 miles on his truck. I don’t care if those straps were made of titanium, eventually, Mother Nature would have her way with them after that kind of punishment.
We live in a society where we throw televisions in the trash every five years, and where we fully expect that our $400 smartphone is going to be completely obsolete the minute it comes out of the package. Yet we expect thin metal straps to not corrode after 15 years of abuse?
I’ve got news, NHTSA folks: Eventually everything reaches the end of its usable life – namely, you.