Ford’s ambulance retrofit is taking longer than expected

Ford’s ambulance retrofit is taking longer than expected

The retrofitting of ambulances built on Ford Econoline E-350 chassis is stretching past its mid-September target date for completion. The recall probably won’t be complete until the end of the year.

Some dealers have been scheduling the work into the late winter and early spring, says James Bright, a spokesman for the Ford Motor Co.’s Parts and Service Division—and “that’s not satisfactory.” The automaker is calling on more dealers to work overtime, expand hours, and train more employees to install the kits intended to prevent fuel spurting and fires.

There are about 10,000 ambulances built on Ford chassis, Bright says, noting that the estimate has dropped from the 16,000 the company had mentioned earlier. But instead of the 14 hours anticipated, installation is taking 20 hours. Bright attributes the difference to the number of post-manufacturing discrepancies and maintenance problems the dealers are finding.

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