Federal investigators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have announced they’re opening an official investigation on Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable models built from 2001 through 2006, centering on complaints of unintended acceleration by owners.
Approximately 1.9 million Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans may be involved, but thus far, the NHTSA says it’s had no reports of crashes or injuries due to the problem. The most likely cause seems to center around faulty cruise control cables that keep the throttle open.
The first complaint was received by the NHTSA towards the end of 2009, and since then, they’ve had at least one complaint per month, for a total of 14.
Drivers have claimed they’ve been unable to stop their cars for traffic signals and engine speeds as high as 4,000 RPM after shifting into park or neutral. In some of the incidents, drivers allege they’ve had to shut off the engine and/or shift into neutral in order to stop their vehicle.
One such incident reported to the NHTSA that a Taurus proved nearly impossible to stop, even with brakes applied. That owner said that “there needs to be something done about this before it becomes fatal.”
Typically, the NHTSA takes anywhere from a month to up to a year before an investigation is either finished or upgraded to an engineering analysis. Depending upon the results of investigations like this, the NHTSA will either ask for a recall on affected vehicles, or close it without any further action.
“Ford is aware of the NHTSA investigation and will, as always, cooperate fully with the agency,” said company spokesman Dan Pierce.
Customers with questions about their cars can call Ford at 1-866-436-7332.