CAS Letter to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland re: Ford Recall Remedy

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

July 26, 2012
The Honorable David L. Strickland, Administrator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Administrator Strickland,
After covering up a defective cruise control cable in 2001-04 Ford Escapes since 2005, Ford Motor Co. (“Ford”) submitted a deceptive Part 573 Defect Recall Report which says not one word about the cruise control cable being defective. Instead Ford describes the defect as “inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed [cruise] control cable connector.” If the cruise control cable guide doesn’t break, there is adequate clearance and there won’t be astuck throttle such as killed Saige Bloom in Payson AZ on January 27, 2012. Ford’s remedy is to have the rear stand-off fastener for the engine cover replaced, in an effort to raise the engine cover in the area of the cruise control cable to provide adequate clearance. (See Ford Part 573 at Part%20573.pdf)
Ford’s defect description and remedy have one purpose, and one purpose only, to avoid a civil penalty being imposed by NHTSA for failing to do a timely recall in 2005 when Ford discovered the cruise control cable guide would break and the cable connector would jam against the engine cover resulting in a struck throttle. Replacing the defective cruise control cable eliminates the defect and the need for more clearance. Indeed, it is not even clear that the additional clearance proposed by Ford would prevent stuck throttles.

Read the full CAS Letter to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland re: Ford Recall Remedy.