For those that are not aware, Ford uses a magnesiem alloy for thier steering column. If you were to hit it with water when burning, it explodes! This is a very dangerous situation for the fire fighter. I test burned one of these columns last year and lit up my backyard for 6 blocks. I then put the warning on my website and put it in my training course.
As I was remelting debris from a 2000 Navigator today, I caught a piece of column. It was burning white with green smoke.
To prove how hot this small burning pile got, I put a GM ignition key on the pile. 10 seconds and the key was melted and gone.
Daimler Chrysler also uses the the same type of material.
Be very careful when suppressing these fires from the driver's side.
When consulting for DC, I asked the steering column engineer if she realized the fire characteristics of magnesium. She did not have a clue and all they were concerned about was weight.

Air bag chemical warnings are also on my site at