Earlier this month, the Center for Automotive Safety (CAS) filed a petition with NHTSA regarding the Ford Escape’s unintended acceleration issue and now the safety group is calling for the American automaker to be fined.
According to CAS, Ford has been aware of the unintended acceleration problem for years and neglected to do a proper fix in order to eliminate the problem. CAS is making a push for NHTSA to fine Ford the maximum amount for not recalling the vehicles when it first learned of the problem.
“Ford’s Escape recall announcement continues its coverup of a defective cruise control cable it has known about since 2005,” said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center. “Rather than replace the defective cruise control cable, Ford uses a cheap fastener to raise the engine cover to try to provide enough clearance so the cable doesn’t jam.”
Affecting 2001-2004 model year Ford Escapes, the issue occurs when the cruise control cable catches on the engine cover, holding the throttle open. The American automaker is installing new fasteners as part of a recall to raise the cover and make more room for the table. NHTSA is still investigating whether or not the problem is a result of the December 2004 Escape accelerator recall. CAS believes the original recall’s fix could have damaged the cruise control cable, causing it to get caught on the engine cover.