The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an official investigation into 2001-2004 Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute sport-utility vehicles. Issues with the popular small-sized SUVs' cruise control systems has raised concern with engineers from the safety agency and with the two car companies, Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motors.
According to NHTSA, its Office of Defect Investigation has received nearly 100 consumer complaints of stuck throttles after deactivating the cruise control systems in the Ford and Mazda SUVs. It is alleged that interference between the vehicle's speed control cable and the appearance cover at the throttle body cam may be behind the incidents, including one fatal collision last January.
Some complaints point to the issue potentially being tied to previous speed control cable repairs made in response to an earlier 2004 recall of Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute SUVs. Officials are investigating to see if a new official safety notice—such as the recent NHTSA recall of 2013 Ford Escape SUVs —is warranted.
Consumer Reports car safety experts have tips on how to deal with unintended acceleration in vehicles. And if you're an owner who has experienced similar cruise control issues in a Ford Escape or Mazda Tribute SUV, we offer advice on how to file a safety complaint with the NHTSA on its website: www.SaferCar.gov.
ODI: 2001-2004 Ford Escape / Mazda Tribute - Speed control Action #: PE12019 [NHTSA]