The 2009 Ford Fusion
Patrick Rall's picture

Feds upgrade Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ unintended acceleration probe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that its probe into complaints of unintended acceleration in certain Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles has been upgraded to an engineering analysis – the final step that could lead up to a recall of almost a half million Ford vehicles.

This investigation into the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan from the 2008, 2009 and 2010 model years was launched in May of 2010 after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received 3 complaints of unintended acceleration in these popular midsized sedans. Since then, the federal safety agency has received 49 more complaints and based on the influx of complaints and the early findings of the investigation, the NHTSA made the call to upgrade this to an engineering analysis. In addition to upgrading this investigation to an engineering analysis, the feds have also included the Lincoln MKZ due to the mechanical and physical similarities between the Lincoln and the other two. Now that the Lincoln has been added, this second phase of the NHTSA investigation affects roughly 480,000 vehicles in the US.

Unlike the unintended acceleration recalls that rocked Toyota a few years ago, the Ford unintended acceleration issues among their 2008-2010 midsized sedans are not shrouded in a mystery as to what is causing the problem. Ford’s issue stems directly from the bunching of floormats under the accelerator pedal, which was one of the variables blamed for Toyota’s similar issues a few years ago but unlike Toyota, there doesn’t seem to be any concern about the Ford sedans having “sticky pedals” or a flawed electronic throttle system. Should the NHTSA find a problem with the design of the floormats or gas pedal in the 2008-2010 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ and Mercury Milan during their engineering analysis – the feds could instruct Ford to issue a recall to resolve the issue.

Unfortunately, while there is no indication as to how many accidents have been caused by Ford’s unintended acceleration issue in the Fusion, Milan and MKZ – the NHTSA does believe that there have been three injuries and one death from accidents that may have been due to this defect. Ford Motor Company is “disappointed” by the decision by the NHTSA to elevate the investigation to an engineering analysis because even the feds point out that this problem is caused by unsecured or double stacked floormats. In these vehicles, there are anchors that hold the floormats from sliding forward and bunching up but if those simple anchors are not used – the mats will be able to bunch up around the gas pedal. Also, the reports indicated that some of the occurrences of unintended acceleration in these Ford vehicles were caused by using an additional floor mat on top of the standard mat that comes from the factory.

This engineering analysis of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ and Mercury Milan could be the final step before a recall of 480,000 midsized sedans but I should point out that a great many NHTSA engineering analyses bring about an end to the investigation without any further actions being required by the automakers. In other words, the NHTSA could find that this problem is caused more by user error than by the design of the vehicle so no recall can fix the problem.

Should more news on the Ford unintended acceleration investigation become available – you can read about it right here on TorqueNews.com!


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Comments

" Ford’s issue stems directly from the bunching of floormats under the accelerator pedal" - WHAT BS! I just experienced the unintended acceleration in my 2006 Lincoln Town Car and have looked at all possibilities. Specifically, the floor carpets. I find this is not a reasonable possibility based on the configuration of the accelerator pedal. The pedal is suspended from high up on the firewall and has plenty of clearance around it. I have the factory floor mat and a protective vinyl floor mat and the and they don't even come close to interfering with the pedal. My first incident with acceleration was not severe and was a forgettable experience. The second occurrence was just last night and was frightening. While merging with dense traffic exiting a parking facility the car suddenly accelerated and in excess of 4000 rpm was seen on the tachometer in the frenzy of slamming on the brakes and avoiding other cars. I have a further concern. My neighbors have a 2009 Lincoln MKZ which has been identified as potentially having the problem. My neighbors are in the mid to upper 80's and I don't think would have the ability to control a severe acceleration event. My dilemmna is I don't want to alarm them by telling them about it but would feel awful if they had an accident because of it. I also checked their Lincoln and again you would have to try real hard to make the floor mat interfere with the accelerator pedal as Ford claims is the problem. In my opinion Ford is using the floor mat as a smoke screen for the real problem with the accelerator. The usual logic: it's cheaper to pay for a few attorneys and lawsuits than it is to refit 1000's of cars.
I am an 86 year old lady and was very proud that I was able to purchase a 2010 Lincoln MKZ. Until last night, that is. It nearly killed me. I had just driven around a large flower bed that stands 3 feet tall. Was going into a parking stall that I had used hundreds of times before. When suddenly out of no where my car lurched forward at a terrific speed. It happened so suddenly I didn't have time to respond. My car is now wrapped around a huge tall tree. The right hand front of my car back past the wheel well is missing, My car will be wrapped around that tree until Monday morning, February 23/15. Which will allow me plenty of time to take pictures before it goes to ICBC. I am very distressed that you would allow this problem to go on with no regard to the life of your clients.
Has anyone had trouble with a Lincoln MKS? I know there have been problems with the MKZ, but I know someone who 2 times had a lurching problem with a MKS and the 3rd time it caused an accident.
We have a 2004 Lincoln LS with unintended acceleration issues. It's happened many times and when we take it to dealership (Bob Rohrman), they can't find anything on the computer! It has pulled us out into highway traffic and we've rear-ended 1 car because of it. Someone could be killed!!
Need info on sudden acceleration of 2010 Lincoln MKZ. It happen to friend in 2015 with severe injuries.
I have a brand new 2017 Lincoln MKZ with 10,000 km on it. Today I had one of these violent accelerations while I was APPLYING THE BRAKE. I was in a nursing home parking lot and came very close to hitting 5 people - 4 of whom were elderly. I cleared a side walk and went about 30 feet before the car stopped. There were black marks all the way. I have had a mechanic check the floor mats (only one and securely fastened) and he also checked to be sure that my foot wasn't accidently depressing both accelerator and the brake. My little size 6 couldn't do the reach and neither could his big work boots. Also was asked if I was using both feet. Have always only used my right foot. Tomorrow it will go on the computer and see what can be found. From what I see in the above article, FORD needs to go back to the drawing board.
My father in law has a 2009 MKZ. The acceleration problem has happened three times..fortunately only one of the incidents resulted in a minor fender bender. The first time he only had the standard floor matt. The next two time he had another matt over the factory floor mat, however there is no way it bunched up and effected the gas pedal. There is a significant amount of space between the bottom of the pedal and the floor mat. The floor mat argument is not the root cause of this problem. Ford needs to to look at this from a more technical angle.
2010 mkx, 38.000 miles, car accelerated at high rate of speed making left turn car accelerated across intersection second time pulling out of parking spot almost caused accident applied brakes with both feet car did not stop shifted into park car staled , brought to ford dealer they could not find any problem
Friend experienced SUA in 2010 Lincoln MKZ. Want info on Ford's installing BOA in all products from 2002 to 2010. Heard claim that by 2010 all cars had BOA installed. Need confirmation, and any inhouse directies, service bulletins, recalls, etc. Friend's MKZ not recalled. Why not???