2003 Ford Taurus SES StandardEnlarge Photo
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a preliminary investigation into reports of unintended acceleration in 2000-2003 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable mid-size sedans.
In its preliminary evaluation, PE-12033 (PDF), the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) says that some 310,000 2000 to 2003 model-year Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans equipped with four-valve 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 engines may be affected.
2000 Mercury SableEnlarge Photo
The ODI has received 50 complaints alleging a stuck throttle condition “due to fractured speed control cable collars.” According to the bulletin, the assembly of the speed control is unique to the subject vehicles and the subject failure mode has not been observed in 2000-2003 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable vehicles equipped with the two-valve 3.0-liter V-6 Vulcan engine or in any of the 2004-2007 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans.
As The Detroit News reports, a Ford spokesperson said the company is aware of the NHTSA preliminary investigation and “will cooperate fully with the agency as we conduct our own analysis.” The spokesman went on to say that Ford has just begun its investigation and had “very limited information at this time.”
A preliminary evaluation, notes the NHTSA, “has been opened to determine the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.” A preliminary investigation may or may not lead to an eventual recall.