Ford Freestyle under NHTSA investigation for unintended lunging
The NHTSA chose to investigate the 2005-2007 Ford Freestyle after receiving 238 complaints that the crossover was lunging forward at very low speeds when in gear without either the brake or accelerator pedal applied. The complainants pointed out that the brakes being applied stopped the car right away, but if you were sitting with the vehicle in Drive or Reverse and did not have your foot on the brake pedal, the vehicle could suddenly lunge until you had time to react and hit the brakes. Also, reports claim that this lunge could be more severe if the vehicle has the air condition running or if the steering wheel is turned to full lock (all the way to one side).
The consumers who filed these complaints about the 2005-2007 Ford Freestyle claimed that their vehicle suddenly rolled forward, as far as ten feet, and in 18 cases, an accident occurred. In one case, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle when it lunged in a driveway but the only injury sustained was a bruised knee. This problem differs from those displayed by Toyota in the fact that the Toyota unintended acceleration issues occurred at higher speeds where these Ford problems hitting the Freestyle are occurring only at low speeds - speeds at which the vehicle is easily controlled and stopped by the brake pedal.
This 2005-2007 Ford Freestyle investigation applies to around 170,000 vehicles and should the NHTSA find some sort of fault with the Freestyle to cause these unintended lunging problems, Ford could be forced to issue a recall to address the issues. The number of additional complaints that come in coupled with the NHTSA findings will help Ford and the Feds decide whether or not a recall is necessary.
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