U.S. safety regulators open investigation into Ford Taurus throttle issue

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 13, 2012

A preliminary investigation has been opened by U.S. safety regulators over a problem with the throttle of Ford Taurus sedans getting stuck in an open position. This probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 360,000 Ford Taurus sedans from model years 2005 and 2006. The agency had received 14 consumer complaints based on incidents of a stuck throttle as the result of a cruise control cable detachment.

If the agency finds that a safety issue has to be addressed then this may lead to a recall. Ford Motor Co. is cooperating with the agency, according to a company spokesman. Documents filed with the NHTSA indicate that these complaints claim that the engine has been going as fast as around 4,000 revolutions per minute after shifting the car into park or neutral.

Some say that when this happened, it became hard to slow down the car with the service brakes. One report said that when the car eventually halted, it had gone through a red light and was partially in an intersection. Several drivers said that to stop the car, they needed to turn off the engine or shift into neutral.

Ford Taurus was redesigned in 2000, minimizing some of oval design elements from its 1996 model. This redesign showcased a taller roof over the car’s rear-passenger space in order to provide more passenger headroom, which had been sacrificed in the tapered 1996 design. It also had a taller and more spacious trunk that gave the vehicle added functionality.

Meanwhile, the 2000 Taurus’ interior had been altered to make way for a more conservative design. It did retain certain elements from the 1996 model’s interior, including the integrated control console that had combined the climate controls and sound system in a single panel. Moreover, the suspension was softened so as to appeal to a wider, non-sporting audience.

And in order to reduce the car’s selling price while also increasing profitability for the company, certain features were eliminated, including its four-wheel disc brakes. Ford also dropped the SHO model. However, the re-introduction of Chevrolet’s Impala in 2000 had affected Taurus sales.

Additionally, the 2002 Ford Taurus included additional equipment on each trim level, including a power driver’s seat for the SE, a CD player, an option between a power moon roof and a leather interior for the SES, and these two luxury options for the SEL. Also added as options for all models are side airbags, as well as traction control.

For 2004, the Ford Taurus got minor cosmetic changes to its front fascia and rear fascia, including an eggcrate grille. A new instrument cluster as well as a new steering wheel can be found inside. Also, the car’s Duratec engine got a power boost, enabling it to deliver 201 horsepower and a torque of 207 ft·lbf. The Taurus’ 2005 to 2007 models, meanwhile, remain unchanged and are basically the same as the 2004 model.

Currently, the Ford Taurus continues on in terms of fleet sales and it will be doing just that until it reaches the scheduled end-of-production date, which comes after model year 2007.

Topics: ford, ford taurus, safety

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