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Warning: 2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan owners - don't stack floor mats

Consumer Reports News: June 01, 2010 04:59 PM

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Owners of 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans are being warned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) not to stack floor mats due to risk of accelerator pedal entrapment. The advice pertains to aftermarket and Ford floor mats.

NHTSA is opening an investigation into this situation based on three verified customer complaints regarding an optional Ford all-weather mat stacked atop the standard floor mat. There have been no crashes or injuries reported.

Ford Product Communications Manager Said Deep said, "We do not recommend stacking floor mats in any vehicle from any automaker. In fact, Ford’s all-weather floor mats have these instructions printed on the top of every driver’s mat. The packaging for these mats also cautions that they should not be stacked on other mats. In addition, all Ford vehicles and mats have an attachment on the driver side to secure them to the floor properly. 

Deep added, "We are not aware of any customer complaints or any accidents related to 2010 Fusions and Milans with properly installed floor mats. We will cooperate fully with NHTSA on its investigation as we always do."

To be clear, all passenger vehicles should have only a single floor mat. It should be properly fitted to the vehicle and secured in place. This simple advice applies to these Ford cars, and those from any automaker. (Read: " Remove unsafe floor mats.")

By laying one floor mat atop another, there is the risk that the edge of the accelerator could be trapped in a depressed position, leading to unintended acceleration. Floor mats can also interfere with brake pedal operation.

As highlighted in our embedded video, there are a few simple steps that can effectively neutralize the risks associated with unintended acceleration.
  1. Brake firmly. Do not pump the brakes. Do not turn off the engine yet, because doing so would disable the power assist for your steering and brakes.
  2. Shift the transmission into Neutral. Don't worry if the engine revs up alarmingly - most modern cars have rev-limiters to protect it, and this move will put you in back in control of your vehicle.
  3. Steer to a safe location and come to a full stop.
  4. Shut off the engine with the transmission still in Neutral.
  5. Finally, shift the transmission into Park or, with a manual transmission, set the emergency brake. Then breathe deep and call for help. Do not attempt to drive the car.

Download a PDF of our advice.

Updated 6/2/10

Jeff Bartlett

Be sure to follow Consumer Reports Cars blog (RSS) and Twitter (@CRcars) to keep up with the latest information and advice, also see our unintended acceleration guide.

Related:
Congress blasts Toyota for not investigating sudden acceleration
Video: How "brake override" stops runaway cars
Consumers Union calls for changes to strengthen U.S. car-safety net
Eight things that can dramatically improve auto safety
Five key fixes automakers should make now to reduce unintended acceleration
Unintended acceleration stories wanted
How to tell if your Toyota is affected by the recent recalls
How to stop a runaway car: Don’t pump the brakes

   

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