Sticky throttles open Ford Taurus, Mercury Sables to safety investigation

A preliminary probe has been opened by the U.S. Government safety agency following reports that there is a tendency that the throttles of Ford Taurus and Mercury Sables can be stuck. This is the same issue faced by Toyota in July this year but considering Taurus is a popular vehicle, the investigation will definitely involve a lot of cars and it is up to the feds to issue an order whether to recall affected models or not.

Although there were no reported crashes involving either Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set its focus on the probe because there were, at least, 50 reports from drivers alleging that throttles were stuck for cars from 2000 through 2003 models. A document was posted on NHTSA’s website on Friday showing complaints of the people who have experienced the same problem.

According to the preliminary investigation, “a cruise-control cable collar can fracture at a mounting bracket and cause the throttles to stick open.” This specific problem, if caused by faulty manufacturing, would affect, at least, 310,000 cars in the United States alone. It would be devastating for the Ford Company if feds find it necessary to recall these models and get them off the streets. The investigation has already been acknowledged by the company through its spokesperson, Marcy Zwiebel.

“Ford is aware of NHTSA’s preliminary investigation on 2000 to 2003 Taurus and Sable models and will cooperate fully with the investigation as we conduct our analysis,” says spokeswoman Marcey Zweibel. “We have just begun our analysis and we have very limited information at this time.”

The manufacturer is closely working with the agency to discover and address the issue. For now, no recall has been issued yet and there are no advices or precautions given to owners of Taurus and Sable because according to the company, they didn’t know the exact nature of the problem yet.

“Until we are able to gather more information and complete our own investigation, we cannot speculate as to what actually occurred during the reported incidents,” Zwiebel said.

This isn’t the first time Ford is facing this kind of issue. NHTSA recently reached a verdict for 546,082 Tauruses and Sables (model year 2005 and 2006) following reports of detached speed control cables. No recall has been issued for such models but it’s not a guarantee that the agency could reach the same decision.

[source: NHTSA]