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2002-2004 Ford Escape May Suffer From Unintended Acceleration

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2004 Ford Escape XLS Value

2004 Ford Escape XLS Value

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In 2005, Ford recalled the 2002-2004 Escape to fix a troubling flaw that could've kept the vehicle's engine revving. Now, a consumer advocacy group insists that in the process of making those repairs, Ford created another problem -- one that leaves the Escape vulnerable to unintended acceleration.

Backstory

According to an article in the New York Times, Ford recalled approximately 470,000 Escape vehicles from the 2002-2004 model years in late 2005. The recall came about in response to reports that the Escape's accelerator cable was getting caught on the vehicle's gas pedal, which prevented the Escape's engine from idling. 

Shortly after issuing that recall, however, the automaker sent a memo to dealers, asking them to take extra care when carrying out the repair, lest they damage the cruise control cable in the process. If that cable were compromised, it could also snag -- this time, on a piece of the engine cover -- leading to instances of unintended acceleration.

New developments

Now, the watchdogs at the Center for Auto Safety are asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue another recall for the 2002-2004 Escape to repair potential damage to the cruise control cable. According to the group, Ford never informed the 320,000 owners who had their Escapes repaired that they might be exposing their vehicles to additional problems.

The Center for Auto Safety has linked the death of a 17-year-old to the Escape's cruise control cable flaw, and there are several complaints posted on the organization's website, including this one

The car accelerated to about 70-75 MPH before I slammed both of my feet on the brake pedal and swerved to avoid colliding with the cars stopped in front of me. I could only slow the car to about 50-55 MPH with both feet on the brake pedal. I narrowly missed hitting cars around me until I was able to put the car into neutral and slow down. I then had to turn the car off to stop, as the accelerator pedal was still fully engaged.

The New York Times found an additional 133 complaints about the problem on the NHTSA website, though the paper didn't find any evidence that NHTSA has investigated those complaints.

For its part, Ford has expressed sympathy for the death of the 17-year-old and says that the company is conducting its own investigation into the matter, though it has not reached any conclusions.

We'll keep you posted as this story develops. 

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Comments (2)
  1. Why has this taken so long to bring this problem up about the Ford Escape? Is this a "Me Too" problem?
     
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  2. To me there are two parties at fault here. 1): Ford for a design flaw and 2): It's dealerships for not fixing it correctly. Plus, Ford knew the problem wasn't being "fixed" correctly and could cause more damage and bigger problems, never sent out a follow-up notice to owners about the problem not being fixed properly and that puts them in line for serious lawsuits. I'm sure their (Ford) legal eagles are working on the lies and excuses right now in the hopes of getting out of trouble and getting away with the mistake and loss of life caused by this. I believe Ford cut corners with the design of the Escape to get it to market as quick as possible as Honda and Toyota were both selling compact crossover SUV's that were selling very well.
     
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