D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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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. Drivers report cars accelerating unexpectedly and continuing to accelerate even when their foot is off the gas pedal.

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. Toyota, BMW, and other car companies have faced similar reports with varying commentary on the brake pedal, floor mats, and other possible contributors.

Drivers have claimed they’ve been unable to stop their cars for traffic signals their 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.

How Can You Protect Yourself in An Accident with a Rogue Vehicle?

If your car accelerates unexpectedly or you’re hit by one, one of the best things to do is remain calm and follow the normal protocol after an accident. Make sure you call police and your insurance company, and document the incident as much as possible. When there are allegations of independently accelerating cars, authorities have to do a thorough investigation.

Whatever the cause, making sure you have the right coverage up front can go a long way. If you’re looking for an auto insurance quote, you can start by entering your zip code. Our quote calculator will guide you through a few questions to get you a few quotes. Then you can compare them side by side and see what makes sense for you.