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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 170,000 2005 through 2007 model year Ford Freestyle’s after 18 crashes caused by “lunging.” No injuries have been attributed to the abnormal vehicle behavior, however.
The Ford Freestyle abnormally lunges forward even when drivers didn’t have their feet on the gas pedal says the reports. Hitting the brakes will stop the lunging, however.
The unexpected lunging has been tied to having the steering wheel turned hard left or right, as well as an apparent increased occurrence if operating the vehicle’s air conditioning system. The lunging reportedly only occurs at low speeds in both reverse and forward gears.
The investigation will not include the refreshed Ford Taurus X that replaced the low selling Freestyle in 2008. The lunging only occurs with the Freestyle’s 3.0-liter V6, and not with the Taurus’ 3.5-liter V6.