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NHTSA probes floor mats in '10 Ford Fusion, Milan

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NHTSA probes floor mats in '10 Ford Fusion, Milan

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington -- Federal regulators opened an investigation into nearly 250,000 Ford Motor Co. vehicles and warned drivers not to use unsecured all-weather floor mats.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today that it had opened a preliminary investigation into 249,301 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles, saying "an accessory floor mat may entrap the accelerator pedal."

The agency warned owners of 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles not to place unsecured floor mats -- made by Ford or anyone else -- on top of the standard, carpeted floor mat in the driver's side foot well.

Ford spokesman Said Deep said the company is unaware of any injuries or accidents from the two vehicles involving floor mats.

"We do not recommend stacking floor mats in any vehicle from any automaker," Deep said.

He noted the all-weather floor mats have an advisory stating that drivers should not stack them on other floor mats.

"All owners of these vehicles should ensure that any mat used is properly secured and never stacked," NHTSA said in a statement. "Any Ford 'all weather' optional floor mat should be placed in the driver's side foot well only after first unfastening and removing the standard, carpeted floor mat."

NHTSA said it verified three consumer complaints concerning the MY 2010 Fusion stating that Ford's optional rubber "all weather" mat, when laid atop the secured, standard carpeted floor mat in the driver's side foot well, can slip forward and trap the accelerator pedal.

NHTSA said it had no reports of injuries, accidents or deaths.

Floor mats are a big issue for NHTSA, which has been probing them for years.

Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled 5.4 million vehicles in the United States over concerns that pedals could get trapped in floor mats. Toyota has redesigned its floor mats and pedals to prevent pedal entrapment.

The recall was prompted by the deaths of four near San Diego when an improperly installed floor mat by a dealer trapped a pedal and led to a runaway Lexus vehicle.

Toyota has recalled another 2.3 million vehicles over sticky accelerator pedals.

After coming under intense criticism from Congress and others, NHTSA is opening investigations faster -- and after fewer complaints.

link:

http://www.detnews.com/article/20100601/AUTO01/6010390/1148/auto01/NHTSA-probes-floor-mats-in--10-Ford-Fusion--Milan

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NHTSA probes Fusion, Milan floor mats

BY JUSTIN HYDE

FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF

WASHINGTON – U.S. auto safety regulators have opened an investigation into 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans over three complaints of all-weather floor mats trapping accelerator pedals – a problem behind part of Toyota’s recent recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the probe of 249,301 sedans does not include any complaints of accidents or injuries. One of the complaints came from Dan Edmunds, director of testing for automotive site Edmunds.com, who made a video in April showing how the rubber mat stacked on top of a regular floor mat could trap the pedal down.

Edmunds, who worked as an engineer for Hyundai and Toyota before joining the site, said he had removed the mats from a 2010 Fusion Hybrid test vehicle, but that they had been put back in by an attendant at either a car wash or body shop. He told NHTSA the Fusion's accelerator stuck for three to four seconds while he was driving, and that after he drove to work he videotaped the pedal and mat.

Ford spokesman Said Deep said the automaker warns customers on the mats themselves and in instructions that come with them to remove the regular floor mat before using the thicker, rubber mat. The all-weather mat has two prominent holes for retaining hooks.

"We don’t recommend stacking floor mats in any vehicle from any automaker," Deep said. "We’re not aware of any customer complaints or accidents related to properly installed mats."

Earlier this year, Toyota recalled 5.4 million vehicles for an all-weather mat that could block accelerator pedals from returning to normal. NHTSA has said it has 89 reports of fatalities linked to unintended acceleration in Toyotas, although few of those reports have been verified.

Toyota has said it would expand brake override systems to all its new models by the end of the year. The Fusion and Milan hybrids have brake override, and Ford has pledged to add it to other models.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100601/BUSINESS01/100601015/1210/NHTSA-probes-Fusion-Milan-floor-mats

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Ring a Bell? Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Probed for Floor Mats After Complaints About Sticky Accelerators...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Remember Toyota's recall-woes over specific floor mats that could slip forward and snag the gas pedal? Well, we could be heading for a second round of recalls on the same issue but for a different automaker.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a formal investigation into the 2010MY Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan models to examine allegations about pedals becoming trapped in the depressed position by unsecured floor mats.

NHTSA said that it has verified three consumer complaints concerning the current 2010 Fusion stating that Ford's optional rubber "All Weather" mat, when laid on top of the secured, standard carpeted floor mat in the driver's side foot well, can slip forward and trap the accelerator pedal.

The safety agency added that it has not received any complaints involving crashes, injuries or fatalities in the FoMoCo vehicles.

All in all, the investigation covers a total of 249,301 2010MY Ford Fusions, Mercury Milans.

And for those of you that are unfortunate enough to get into a 'sticky' situation, here's the NHSTA's advice to consumers:

Actions Consumers Can Take If They Cannot Stop Their Vehicles

-- Brake firmly and steadily – do not pump the brake pedal.

-- Shift the transmission into Neutral (familiarize yourself with where Neutral is).

-- Steer to a safe location.

-- Shut the engine off.

-- Call your dealer or repair shop to pick up the vehicle. Do not drive it.

link:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/06/ring-bell-ford-fusion-and-mercury-milan.html

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