Floor Mats and Gas Pedals: NHTSA Keeps Probing

Ford Fusion interior

NHTSA got three “verified” complaints and is now warning owners of a total of 249,301 2010 Ford Fusion (above) and Mercury Milan cars that stacking one floor mat on top of another can interfere with the accelerator. And produce… Sudden Acceleration!

Last month, says the Detroit News, NHTSA began investigating 161,000 Dodge Calibers for sticky accelerators on the basis of five complaints. No attributed accidents or injuries in any of these or the Ford cars.

Let’s see: If you stacked floor mats in your new Buick Enclave, might they also entrap the pedal? Or your 1975 Dodge Dart? If that happens to you, I suggest you file a complaint immediately to NHTSA, and maybe they will open another investigation.

What is it with these guys? Well, first off, the agency is becoming highly sensitized to charges that they have been lax on safety, in particular regarding their failure to pursue the unintended acceleration problems at Toyota.

Fusion floor matAlso, they are due to get a fat increase in funding if the new Motor Vehicle Safety Act passes, so they can issue more silly warnings about stacking floor mats. Although, as we’ve said before, the driving public needs reminding of the most elementary things. If your car is running away from you, NHTSA tells us, after braking, “Shift the transmission into neutral. (Make sure you know in advance how to shift into neutral.)”

And if you do file a complaint, it will likely enter the NHTSA’s corrupt database, which many say is “an invitation to fraud.” That is, anyone can file a complaint online without entering a VIN number, and the agency does no confirmatory checking.

Recently we heard reports of NHTSA claiming “89 deaths related to Toyota’s unintended acceleration issues.” Such stories sprang up all over the media, each based on incredibly bad data reported from the agency. Bartel Schmitt at TTAC was one of the first to catch on to this scandal in the making.

It seems to me the NHTSA really does need a top-to-bottom reform. What do you think?

—jgoods

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2 Comments

  1. It makes me laugh that Baby Boomer’s and earlier even survived. My father used to let us play on the rear window panel of his 50’s Buick when we were kids. Then he would hit the brakes so we would fly forward.
    Whats next.

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