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Ford Taurus investigated by safety regulators for possible sticky throttles

Ford Taurus investigated by safety regulators for possible sticky throttles
Federal investigators are probing potentially sticky throttles in 2005 and 2006 model year Ford Tauruse (Jeff Kowalsky / EPA)

As many as 360,000 sedans could be included in an investigation into possible faulty accelerators in Ford Tauruses conducted by the

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

.

Vehicles from model years 2005 and 2006 sparked 14 complaints – but no crashes or injuries – stemming from what drivers said were detached cruise control cables and sticking throttles.

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In an investigation opened Wednesday, federal safety regulators said that some drivers struggled to stop their cars with their brakes and had to resort to shutting off the engine or shifting into neutral mode. One driver ended up running a red light before stopping in an intersection.

The 2005 Taurus sped up to 70 miles per hour, even though the driver wrote that both feet were on the brakes. The same scenario had happened earlier on the driver’s driveway, according to the complaint.

“Wow, the scariest thing I have ever experienced,” the driver wrote. “If there was heavy traffic someone would have been killed, no doubt in my mind … I am very fearful to drive it, because you never know when it will do it again.”

Another Taurus owner said that the vehicle’s engine was running at 4,000 revolutions per minutes while in park and only returned to normal range below 1,000 rpm after the gas pedal was tapped twice.

So far, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation is conducting only a preliminary evaluation, not a

recall

of the Tauruses.

“We are aware of the NHTSA investigation and, as always, we will cooperate fully with the agency,” the automaker said in a statement.

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