Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) September 21, 2012
The North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC), a nonprofit organization promoting consumer education, consumer awareness and consumer protection in North Carolina since 1968, has officially petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a defect investigation of alleged throttle body failures in 2005-2012 Ford Escape vehicles.
NCCC has received numerous complaints regarding these vehicles. Consumers report repeated instances of the vehicles either stalling in motion or suddenly surging forward when accelerating from a stopped position, posing a serious safety risk to vehicle occupants, other motorists and pedestrians.
In two recent complaints made to NCCC, drivers reported intermittent vehicle stalls and surges as they entered traffic from a stopped position or while driving at highway speeds.
In both recent complaints to NCCC, the problem was dealer-diagnosed as a failed throttle body, with trouble codes P2111 and P2112 present in the onboard computer system, indicating the electronic throttle actuator control system was stuck open and closed, respectively. In both cases, drivers reported no warning signs prior to the initial failure or prior to subsequent failures.
“This is obviously a very dangerous and rapidly growing issue threatening the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians that needs to be addressed immediately,” said NCCC President Sandra Bullock. “We trust that the NHTSA will investigate and take the necessary steps to remedy the problem as quickly as possible.”
Complaint data from the NHTSA shows that a number of complaints were filed between November 2011 and August 2012 for the 2009 Escape, for which NCCC has also received several complaints. There are also complaints regarding sticking throttles and throttle body failures in 2005-2012 models, all of which apparently use the same “drive-by-wire” design.
Bullock points out that this issue is separate from a recent recall involving other Ford Escape vehicles for the 2002-2004 model years, which use a conventional cable design in place of an electronic assembly.
Bullock also notes that Ford has issued several technical service bulletins (TSBs) for various models throughout the years for issues relating to electronic throttles. Suggested repairs for common issues have included reprogramming the powertrain control module and/or replacing the throttle body.
Owners or drivers of vehicles that exhibit potential safety issues, including throttle body issues, are encouraged to file a complaint with NCCC and with NHTSA.
NCCC is in possession of one of the failed throttle bodies and will be sending it to the NHTSA for inspection per their request.
If the NHTSA chooses to open a defect investigation in response to the NCCC petition, it will decide at the conclusion of that investigation what additional steps need to be taken, including a potential recall of the affected Ford Escape vehicles.
Founded in 1968, the North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC) is a nonprofit organization promoting consumer education, consumer awareness and consumer protection in North Carolina and beyond. To find out more, visit http://www.NCconsumer.org.