NHTSA Investigates Complaints of Sticking Accelerators

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an investigation of certain Ford vehicles due to complaints of broken cruise control cables, which can prevent the engine throttle valve from closing upon accelerator pedal release.

The subject vehicles include as many as 310,000 model year 2000 through 2003 Ford Taurus/Mercury Sables equipped with the 3.0 liter V-6 Duratec engine and cruise control.  NHTSA received at least 50 consumer reports of this condition and, as a result, elected to open a Preliminary Evaluation, often a precursor to an official Safety Recall, to further study this potential defect.  Early information from NHTSA indicates the condition could potentially cause the throttle to remain open approximately 25% of full application.  In top transmission gear; this is more than enough throttle application to maintain highway speed.

For more information regarding this investigation, or any automotive matter, please contact R. Scott King, BSME, Automotive / Mechanical Engineer with DJS Associates, at 215-659-2010 or via email at


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