Ford is recalling 423,634 Escape SUVs in the U.S. from the 2001 to 2004 model years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these SUVs, which have a 3.0-liter V6 engine and cruise control, are at risk of their gas pedals becoming stuck.
NHTSA says the recalled Escape SUVs don’t have enough space between the engine cover and cruise control cable connector. The Associated Press, who has received more information from Ford, explains, “On the older Escapes, which are completely different from the 2013 models, the cruise control cables can snag on the plastic cover atop the engine and cause the gas pedals to stick, Ford said. For the problem to happen, the pedals must be pushed to or near the floor, and the cruise control cables must have been bent or moved from their original position, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said.” If the accelerator pedal is completely or partially depressed, the pedal may not return to idle and the driver may not be able to control the SUV’s speed. NHTSA says this may happen no matter if cruise control is engaged or not.
The Office of Defect Investigations thinks the defect is related to repairs the Escape received following recalls initiated in 2004. Mazda Tribute SUVs were also investigated for a stuck throttle that could be a result of repairs.
Initially, the ODI probed 2001 to 2004 Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute models with 3.0-liter V6 engines for a stuck throttle. The ODI received a total 99 complaints for both models. Sixty-eight of those complaints applied to the Escape, while 31 applied to the Tribute. According to the ODI, the defect may have caused one fatal accident, but the ODI doesn’t state whether it occurred in the Escape or Tribute.
Escape models included in this new recall were manufactured from Oct. 22, 1999 to Jan. 23, 2004. The recall will begin by Aug. 6, and Ford dealers will increase the amount of space between the engine cover and the cruise control cable for free. Owners can call Ford at 1-866-436-7332 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.
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