For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: PPG Pastel Green
Interior Color: White
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: Auto
Puyallup, Washington, United States
According to a Bloomberg report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded an investigation into complaints of unintended acceleration lodged against Ford vehicles. The investigation began in June of 2010 when just three complaints had been received and it only concerned the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, but this was at a time when the phrase "unintended acceleration" made grown men go pale. With 49 additional complaints received since then, the investigation has been reclassified as an engineering analysis - the last phase before a recall - and it has been expanded to include the Lincoln MKZ, making for a total of "around 480,000" units affected between the three sedans from the 2008 to 2010 model years.
The ostensible cause is that floor mats are trapping the accelerator pedal, but according to a Ford statement at the time, the entrapment is due to owners placing the optional all-weather floor mats, or aftermarket floor mats, on top of the car's standard floor mats. NHTSA has backed up that assessment, pinning the blame on "unsecured or double stacked floor mats."
On the face of it, it would appear that NHTSA has upgraded the status not because of Ford's error, but owner error, and Ford has stated publicly that it is "disappointed" in NHTSA's move. On top of NHTSA still being skittish after that other unintended acceleration debacle, it could be seen to be taking its time investigating all of the variables: it's reported that Ford changed its accelerator pedal design in 2010, a "heel blocker" in the floorpan has been considered a potential culprit in how the floor mats could be trapping the pedal, some drivers have said the floor mats weren't anywhere near the pedal, and according to a report in the LA Times, in "a letter sent by Ford to NHTSA in August 2010, the automaker said it found three injuries and one fatality that 'may have resulted from the alleged defect.'"
General Motors and Ford can have all the success they please, but it doesn't seem like America's two largest manufacturers are going to topple Toyota in the first half of 2013. According to Reuters, Toyota moved 4.91 million vehicles in the first six months of 2013, representing a 1.1-percent drop from the same period in 2012.
GM is on the rise, though, with a four-percent increase in global sales, to 4.85 million. Volkswagen, still sitting in third, saw a 5.5-percent jump to 4.7 million vehicles in the first half of 2013.
If this pace continues for Toyota, it'll finish 2013 in the top sales spot for the second year in a row. The manufacturer fell to third, behind GM and VW, in 2011 after earthquakes and tsunamis ravaged its production capacity.
It was only a matter of time before law enforcement agencies would realize the potential of driver-assist technology for use in their Ford Police Interceptors, and, now that they have, those back-up cameras and radar systems won't be used just for parking, but for security, as well.
The surveillance mode system works when the camera or radar detects movement from behind the vehicle, and if it does when it's activated, an alarm will alert the officer inside the car, the driver's side window will roll up and the doors will lock, protecting the officer from an unwanted intrusion. The officer, of course, has the option to turn surveillance mode off, mainly in urban areas where pedestrians would constantly set the alarm off, and it can only be activated when the police car is in park.
Randy Freiburger, Ford's police and ambulance fleet supervisor, came up with the patent-pending idea when researching the needs of police officers and riding along with them, during which time he realized officers would be safer with an extra set of eyes watching the area behind their cars, especially at night or when they're completing paperwork, using the in-car computer or handling a radar gun. "Unfortunately, there are people with bad intentions who sneak up on police officers," he says.