Federal regulators have received about 14 complaints about sticky accelerators on Ford Taurus models, according to an announcement issued by the National Highway Safety Administration. The investigation may lead to a recall. Safety regulators say that the 2005 and 2006 model years are implicated, an estimated 360,000 cars in total.
Consumers have complained that accelerators are sticking and that they are not able to stop the vehicles unless they turn the car off, which is also dangerous. No injuries have been reported at this time, although some of the complaints indicate close calls.
Recalls are a tool used by regulators to help prevent car accidents in the case of a dangerous defect in a particular type of car. The auto manufacturer also makes the Mercury Sable, which is nearly identical but is not being investigated at this time.
Several drivers have reported that part of the problem is that the brakes do not stop the car when the accelerator sticks. One driver reported speeding through an intersection at about 70 miles per hour and veering around two cars before he was able to turn the vehicle off.
"The scariest thing I have ever experienced," the driver wrote in the complaint. "If there was heavy traffic someone would have been killed, no doubt in my mind."
The NHTSA investigation will determine the scope of the problem and then issue a report about any safety consequences that they find.
People who have been injured by defective auto parts or negligent driving are entitled to compensation for their injuries. A recall may affect Ford Motor's liability for any accidents that are caused.
Source: USA Today, "Ford Taurus probed by feds for stick throttles," March 12, 2012.