National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration have shifted their focus to certain Ford motor vehicles after they announced Toyota’s record fine of over $17 million. A problem with pedal entrapment problems due to unsecured or double stacked floor mats is investigated. The probe has since been upgraded to the engineering analysis phase that typically leads to a vehicle recall. Ford is not liking this one bit.
The government agency is looking specifically into the year 2008 through 2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ that make up an estimated total of 480,000 vehicles. On May, the investigation initially covered nearly 250,000 vehicles but has since been upgraded.
“The accelerator pedal may fail to return to idle due to interference created by unsecured or double stacked floor mats in the driver’s foot well,” said NHTSA in its summary of the defect investigation.
It added: “A heel blocker in the floor pan provides a platform that may lift an unsecured mat into contact with the pedal.”
Ford is fuming from NHTSA’s accusations. They allegedly disagree with the process but will acquiesce with the agency’s requirements.
“We were disappointed by NHTSA’s upgrade of this investigation, particularly since the condition under investigation relates to improperly installed, unsecured or double stacked floor mats, but we will continue to cooperate fully with the agency through this process,” Ford told Edmunds on Monday.
The automaker noted that Ford’s all-weather floor mats “have instructions printed on the top of the driver’s mat telling owners not to stack them. The driver’s mat says: Do Not Place On Top of Existing Floor Mats.”
Ford claims that they have not been aware of any customer complaints about the installation of their all-weather floor mats because they were installed properly.
Typically, drivers experience the problem following hard pedal applications to pass to lower traffic or when they merge into faster traffic.
“Drivers allege continued high engine power after releasing the accelerator pedal and difficulty braking, including reports that the incident was controlled by shifting to neutral or turning the engine off,” NHTSA said.
“The agency has received 16 customer complaints that they have attributed to this subject, although they have received only one complaint within the past 16 months, and none of these reports involve any accidents or injuries,” said Ford.
According to the NHTSA, there have been fifty-two complaints relating to this problem. But they do not have reports on accidents, injuries or fatalities that connect with their investigation.
Prior to getting around in your vehicle, Ford or not, check that there are no obstacles that the pedal might face. Doing so could prevent serious injury. But if the accident is related to the manufacturers error, contact a car accident lawyer today.