In the wake of Toyota’s massive recall involving their vehicles’ accelerator pedals becoming jammed, it appears that the Ford Motor Co. may be experiencing the same problems. A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that floor mats in 2010 Ford and Mercury vehicles may cause accelerator pedals to become trapped.
In January, Japanese auto giant Toyota announced a recall of more than 10 million vehicles for accelerator pedal issues. The recall addressed floor mat and electronic issues that caused vehicles, like the popular Prius, to accelerate unexpectedly. Despite the extent of the recall, Toyota’s sales continued to be strong through the first part of the year.
Now Ford is having similar problems. First reported on May 28, the NHTSA claims that optional all-weather floor mats available on the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan models are the cause of sticky accelerator pedals, which could result in dangerous accidents. The report states that these all-weather floor mats are being placed atop the original mats without an anchoring system to keep the mats in place while driving. The NHTSA says the mats could shift while the vehicle is in motion, trapping the accelerator in the depressed position without the driver knowing. Despite a number of complaints from Ford and Mercury owners, no crashes or injuries have resulted from the jammed pedals. The NHTSA plans to investigate over 250,000 vehicles due to these concerns.
Even the Director of Vehicle Testing at Edmunds.com, a popular car review website, has experienced problems with floor mats in a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. While driving the vehicle earlier in the year, the all-weather floor mat slid forward, causing the accelerator pedal to be unintentionally jammed. In the past, the Edmunds website had warned drivers of the dangers of stacking floor mats, and this incident has only provided further evidence for the cause.
Ford has yet to make a public statement regarding how the automaker will address this issue. It is unknown whether the all-weather floor mats are safe to use when not stacked atop other mats or if a recall will be necessary. Sticking accelerators present a great danger for drivers and should be a serious concern.
In an unrelated incident, up to 240,000 Ford vehicles in China have been recalled this month to fix a software issue that has caused engine failure in the 2009-10 Focus models. The recall appears to be a quick fix and only a minor setback for Ford’s Chinese line, which is a joint-venture with automaker Mazda.
If a defective product has resulted in serious injury to you or someone you love, you should contact our office to discuss your potential claim. When carmakers fail to fix design flaws, the public is put in danger of damage to person and property. When people are injured because of design flaws, the companies responsible should be made to pay for the cost of treatment. Call us now for a free evaluation and discussion about your case.