Feds Upgrade Probe Into Pedal Entrapment in Ford Vehicles
- NHTSA said it is upgrading an investigation into Ford vehicles, including the 2008-'10 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ, for pedal entrapment problems related to unsecured or double stacked floor mats.
- The upgraded investigation now covers an estimated 480,000 Ford vehicles.
- "We were disappointed by NHTSA's upgrade of this investigation," Ford told Edmunds on Monday.
WASHINGTON — The National Highway Safety Administration said it is upgrading an investigation into Ford vehicles, including the 2008-'10 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ, for pedal entrapment problems related to unsecured or double stacked floor mats.
The upgraded investigation now covers an estimated 480,000 Ford vehicles. The initial probe began in May 201 and covered 249,301 2010 Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans. It now covers the 2008-'10 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ.
"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 said it does not agree with NHTSA's action.
"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 said it is not aware of any customer complaints when Ford all-weather floor mats were installed and secured properly.
"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.
NHTSA said 52 complaints have been attributed to this problem. There are no accidents, injuries or fatalities linked to the probe.
NHTSA said the incidents typically occur following hard pedal applications to pass slower traffic or when merging 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.
NHTSA's probe has been upgraded into what is called an "engineering analysis." Such a move sometimes leads to a vehicle recall.
Edmunds says: There is not much that consumers can do at this point, except to make sure they have properly attached floor mats in the aforementioned vehicles and wait for the federal safety regulators to complete their investigation.