Friday, May 28, 2010
Contact: Julia Piscitelli
Telephone: (202) 366-9263
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is warning owners of 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles not to place any unsecured floor mats, whether made by Ford or any after-market retailer, on top of the standard, carpeted floor mat in the driver’s side foot well. In addition, all owners of these vehicles should ensure that any mat used is properly secured and never stacked.
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. This is the only way to ensure that the “All Weather” optional floor mat is physically secured to the floor. The Ford original equipment floor mats have special attachment opening points to safely secure them to the floor of the driver’s side foot well.
The safety agency is opening a formal investigation to examine allegations of the pedals becoming trapped in the depressed position after the driver releases the pedal to decelerate. NHTSA has verified three consumer complaints concerning the MY 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. This causes the accelerator pedal to remain in the depressed position without driver input. This is most likely to occur after the driver presses the accelerator pedal substantially such as when merging or passing in traffic.
NHTSA has received no complaints involving crashes, injuries or fatalities. Investigators have spoken with consumers and conducted pre-investigatory field work.
NHTSA is urging drivers of 2010 Fusions to make sure they do not stack the rubber “All Weather” floor mat on top of the secured carpeted floor mat. Further, drivers are reminded to ensure that any driver-side floor mats (whether they are the carpeted floor mat or all weather floor mat) are properly installed and restrained by the retention hooks on the floorboard.
Depending on vehicle and floor mat design, it is possible for unsecured floor mats to interfere with accelerator or brake pedals in a wide range of vehicles. Therefore, NHTSA reminds all drivers of all makes and models to check the driver-side floor mats for secure installation and to follow all manufacturer instructions for installing the mats.
Actions Consumers Can Take If They Cannot Stop Their Vehicles
Regardless of the cause, if a consumer is experiencing unintended acceleration in their vehicle, they should take the following steps:
-- 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.
For more information, consumers can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Hotline at 888-327-4236 or their Ford dealer.