Remember all those reports of sudden acceleration that plagued Toyota a couple of years back? Now the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is looking into a similar problem on the Ford Taurus and the Mercury Sable.
In a letter to Ford Motor Company (PDF), the NHTSA reports 30 complaints involving 2005 and 2006 models of the Ford Taurus and the 2005 Mercury Sable. However, the investigation announcement from the NHTSA lists only the Taurus.
According to a summary document posted at the agency's website, "Complaints allege engine speeds as high as approximately 4,000 RPM after shifting into Park or Neutral. Some complaints report that it was difficult to slow the vehicle with the service brakes during the incident...." In several instances, drivers claimed that they had to shift the vehicle into neutral or shut it off entirely, and at least one driver blew through a red light and into an intersection.
The investigation has just begun, so the NHTSA doesn't have any firm results just yet. However, inspectors believe that the problem could be related to a detached cruise control cable, which may be causing the throttle to stick.
According to the New York Times, complaints about the problem date back as far as 2010. Ford staff are cooperating with the investigation, which involves roughly 360,000 vehicles.
The investigation is still far from a recall, but if you'd like more information, you can visit the NHTSA website and run a quick search for Action #PE12005. Click the "document search" box at the bottom of the summary for additional details.