WASHINGTON (June 4, 2010)—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation into an estimated 249,301 Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans, model year 2010. Optional all-weather floor mats may trap accelerator pedals in these vehicles, the agency said.
NHTSA so far has received three complaints about accelerator pedals being trapped by unsecured all-weather floor mats in these cars, according to the resume on the preliminary evaluation issued May 28 by the agency's Office of Defects Investigation. To date it has received no reports of crashes, deaths or injuries caused by the problem, the ODI said.
Also on May 28, NHTSA posted on its website a consumer advisory about the optional floor mats in 2010 Fusions and Milans. Any Ford optional all-weather floor mat, the agency said, should not be used unless the standard floor mat is removed and the all-weather mat physically fastened to the vehicle floor.
“Depending on vehicle and floor mat design, it is possible for unsecured floor mats to interfere with accelerator or brake pedal function,” NHTSA said in the advisory.
Ford spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, the Ford website states that the company will discontinue the Mercury line at the end of this year.
This marks the third time NHTSA has instituted major actions in the past several months regarding accelerator pedals. Toyota Motor Corp.'s recall of 5.4 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the U.S. because of accelerator pedals becoming trapped by floor mats was the catalyst for the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010, which currently is making its way through the House and Senate. Also, late in April, NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation into possible accelerator pedal sticking in 161,000 Dodge Calibers, model year 2007.