Problems with the cruise control cable on Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute sport-utility vehicles now warrant safety recalls by their manufacturers, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2001-04 Escape as well as 2001-2006 and 2008 Tribute SUVs have a design flaw that may cause a stuck throttle even if the vehicle’s cruise control system has not been turned on by the driver.
Last week, the NHTSA Office of Defect Investigation announced an on-going probe of consumer complaints of stuck throttles with the Ford and Mazda SUVs. And safety engineers have now determined that “inadequate clearance between the [vehicle’s] engine cover and the speed control cable connector could result in a stuck throttle when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed.”
Both Ford and Mazda are expected to alert affected owners of Escape and Tribute SUVs—estimated at more than 660,000 vehicles in the United States—and begin free repairs soon.
For more information on the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute recalls, consumers can call the manufacturers’ toll free customer support lines (Ford: 866-436-7332, Mazda: 800-222-5500, option #6) or visit the NHTSA website: www.SaferCar.gov.
Video: How to deal with stuck throttles and unintended acceleration. (Consumer Reports)