U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that accelerators can stick in Ford Tauruses from model years 2005 and 2006, according to the Associated Press in Detroit.
The investigation covers an estimated 360,000 of the sedans. The probe could lead to a recall, but so far none has been ordered by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a federal safety agency. The investigation does not include a nearly identical car, the Mercury Sable.
NHTSA said on its website that 14 people have complained about the problem. No crashes or injuries have been reported. Drivers have reported that it was hard to stop the car with brakes. Several said they had to shut off the engine or shift into neutral to stop. One driver ran a red light and entered an intersection before the car could be stopped.
The agency says the cruise control cable may become detached and hold the throttle open.
Ford spokesman Daniel Pierce said the company is cooperating in the probe. He said the company was just notified of the investigation and he did not know why the Sable was not included.
The investigation is likely to be expanded to include the Sable, the Taurus’ twin from the defunct Mercury brand. NHTSA said in a statement that investigations generally include cars that use the same parts as cars under investigation.
NHTSA said that it began the investigation to assess the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the problem. The agency posted documents outlining the probe on its website over the weekend.