NHTSA Opens Investigation into 31,000 Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable Models for Stuck Throttles

By Trevor Dorchies | October 29, 2012
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 31,000 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sables made for the 2000 to 2003 model year.  The cause for concern stems from complaints of a sticky accelerator pedal which can result in the dreaded unintended acceleration.  In all, the NHTSA has received 50 complaints that both owners of the Taurus and Sable have experienced this issue. Both models concerned in this investigation only feature an overhead-cam 3.0-liter V-6 Duratec engine; the other engine variation isn't affected by this investigation and potential recall. The problem at hand features a fractured speed-control cable, which is responsible for holding a set speed when cruise control is engaged. If the cable severs, unintended acceleration can occur, which has cost automakers like Toyota more than a pound of figurative flesh. Ford too, is no stranger to these speed-control cables coming apart as the same type of issue bothered close to 500,000 Escape and Mazda Tribute SUVs earlier this year. The NHTSA says that the fractured cables allow the throttle to run at around 26 percent open without the driver doing anything. With the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute recall, the Blue Oval boys had to create space between the cruise control cables which controls the throttle. This latest investigation involves these same cables to splitting altogether but the result is the same, nevertheless. Consumer Reports recently named Ford and its luxury arm Lincoln as the No. 2 and 3 most unreliable brands for the 2012 model year. At one point, Mercury was a part of the Ford-Lincoln group but it has since dissolved. Just two years ago, Ford was sitting atop the domestic brand pile but with all the recent recalls it has faced, the Blue Oval's reputation has taken a hit.
The NHTSA is still in the infant stages of its investigation into both the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable but stay tuned as more details unfold. Source: Consumer Reports