NHTSA probes 360,000 Ford Taurus vehicles

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2005 Ford Taurus

Some 2005 Taurus models are subject to the NHTSA probe. Image: Theo, 2006/Wikimedia Commons/ BY SA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Sunday that it will be launching a preliminary investigation into 360,000 Ford Taurus sedans. The investigation follows multiple consumer complaints of stuck throttles. No injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of the issue.

Cars can accelerate on their own

According to the NHTSA press release, the agency has received complaints from 14 Taurus owners. All of the complaints reported engines revving uncontrollably after the car is shifted into neutral or park. The probe, which affects 360,000 2005 and 2006 Taurus models, officially began Wednesday, March 7.

[Accelerate out of the showroom. We can help you get a loan for a car]

‘An extremely dangerous situation’

One complaint, filed on Aug. 27, 2010, reported a 2006 Taurus that started accelerating without the gas pedal being depressed. The driver pushed the brake to the floor as the car squealed through a red light, stopping in the middle of the intersection. The car kept revving until the ignition was turned off. When the car was re-started, it began revving again.

The driver wrote:

“This is an extremely dangerous situation. There needs to be something done about this before it becomes fatal.”

‘Scariest thing … ever’

Last November a 2005 Taurus owner complained to the NHTSA that, after stopping at a red light, the car started to accelerate
on its own.

The complaint read:

“Could not hold on brakes enough to stop moving. Went through red light, around two cars as speed reached about 70 miles per hour. Both feet on brakes. Could smell them burning … The scariest thing I have ever experienced. If there was heavy traffic someone would have been killed, no doubt in my mind … Please someone make Ford wake up about this problem before someone is killed. I wouldn’t feel right trading it in, for fear of someone else getting killed.”

Another complaint was from a  driver who videotaped the engine revving on its own up to 4,000 RPM.

As recently as February

The most recent complaint was filed Feb. 15 by an owner in North Carolina. That driver wrote:

“While coasting uphill and approaching my left turn the (2006 Taurus) began to accelerate. I made the left turn while applying a good amount of force to the brake pedal for fear that I would hit mail boxes and homes.”

Detached cruise control cable

The NHTSA said that the problem likely is the result of a cruise control cable that became detached, holding the throttle

No injuries or accidents

As of this time, no injuries or crashes have been attributed to the issue. The NHTSA’s preliminary probe is the first step
in determining if a recall is necessary.

Daniel Pierce, a spokesman for the automaker, told Canadian Business that Ford will cooperate fully with the NHTSA and its investigation.


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