Ford Motor Co. is the target of a safety investigation involving reports of unintended acceleration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received 14 complaints from drivers who’ve had difficulty bringing their vehicles to a halt when their cars sped-up after their throttles became stuck in the open position.
Government investigators are looking at cruise control cables in some 2005 and 2006 Ford Tauruses that allegedly became detached, according to a NHTSA report. Some of the complaints said that in addition to applying the brakes, drivers had to shift into park or neutral in order to stop the vehicles.
Some drivers reported that their engines revved as high as 4,000 revolutions per minute after the car was shifted into park or neutral.
“My 2005 Ford Taurus accelerates on its own every so often,” one driver wrote. “When it accelerates, I try to brake but the car vibrates very badly and does not want to slow down.”
Another driver said that, before getting the car to stop, the Taurus had gone past a red light and partly into the intersection. NHTSA’s report mentions no crashes or injuries as a result of this possible problem.
A total of 360,000 cars could potentially be involved, according to NHTSA. Once the investigation is completed, NHTSA will determine whether a full recall is needed.
Ford Motor Co. spokesman Daniel Pierce said the automaker has been made aware of the investigation and is cooperating with NHTSA. A spokesman for Ford Motor Co. did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the investigation.
Concerns over unintended acceleration were behind a rash of Toyota recalls in 2009. Those recalls stemmed from gas pedals that could get stuck due to premature wear or that could become caught in improperly installed floormats. Almost 8 million cars worldwide were ultimately involved in those recalls.