By on June 2, 2010


Everyone loves an underdog story and none are greater than Ford’s. Their stock price went from $1 per share to nearly $12, they’re churning out good cars. their quality & reliability are increasing by the award. Yes, Ford is currently the golden boy of the car world. But what comes after pride?

The NHTSA. Reuters reports that Ford is being probed by the NHTSA for floormat entrapment. NHTSA says there is the possibility that the accelerator pedals could be trapped by floormats on the Ford Fusion and the Mercury Milan. The NHTSA has verified 3 complaints that accelerator pedals were caught by the unsecured floormats in the current production Fusion.

Floormats? Didn’t floormats start the Toyota disaster that veered out of control faster than a … ? Are they sure it’s not tin whiskers? At least, so far, Ray LaHood didn’t say “Stop driving your Fords!”

Anyway, the problem could affect up to 249,301 Fusions and Milans. Ford spokesperson, Said Deep (I checked, that really is his name, poor man) said that the instructions on the all weather floormats state that owners should not place them on top of existing floormats. “We do not recommend stacking floormats in any vehicle” Deep said. “We will co-operated fully with NHTSA as we always do.”

The Reuters article also mentions that Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing at Edmunds.com, described a incident like the one described above, in mid-April in a 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid. The accelerator pedal got stuck on some stacked floormats. He reported the incident to the NHTSA. I hope he included the VIN, after all, any yahoo can file a complaint on the NHTSA database. If fact, maybe Ford might want to point that out to the NHTSA?

Though the real question I have is this: do people REALLY have to be told NOT to stack floormats around the pedals? I guess, they do. WARNING: Objects in your mirror may be larger than they appear!

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29 Comments on “NHTSA Goes To The Mat With Ford...”


  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    I wonder if the American car boosters who ripped Toyota a new ass are going to do the same with Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      No, because it’s 3 complaints out of 250,000 cars, instead of hundreds. No, because it’s only with stacked floormats, not with cars that had and DID NOT have extra floormats. No, because so far it’s only happened in the US, not Canada, Europe, and Japan like Toyota. No, because TTAC is not saying it’s elderly drivers, even though Buick has had not nearly the same amount of problems.

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      Can’t let facts get in the way of a Cammy flamed Ford bashing.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      I thought the article was fair and balanced, I pointed out that Ford are on the up. And just that should we expect a full “Stop driving your Toyotas” style reaction to an event which hasn’t been fully proven yet.

      So rmwill, consider this your first and final warning. Any more talk against me or my articles will result in a ban.

      If in any doubt look at TTAC’s Frequently Asked Questions’ section.

      You have all been warned.

    • 0 avatar

      Easy on the keyboard, gentlemen. Read http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/faqs/#commentpolicy before typing.

      Violators will be shot. Virtually.

    • 0 avatar

      Cammie,

      I enjoy your articles but did not enjoy your response regarding criticism. stand up and take it if you’re gonna dish it out. besides, not everyone will agree with your viewpoints and there should be no problem giving further explanation as to such. open debate should be encouraged, as long as personal attacks are not part and parcel.

      jd

    • 0 avatar

      Geez, man, I missed something. This article was very factual and (to my eyes) lacked anything approaching Ford hate.

      That said…

      Though the real question I have is this: do people REALLY have to be told NOT to stack floormats around the pedals? I guess, they do. WARNING: Objects in your mirror may be larger than they appear!

      You don’t understand the American people.

      We Americans pamper our accelerator pedals. If we could, we would place small pillows on our floors so they could rest their… ah, pedals in peace.

      It’s also to keep us from pressing the pedal all the way down, so our lead foot tendencies are kept on track.

      Gotta try to get 21 mpg outta this here Chevy Suburban.

  • avatar
    TomH

    I wonder whether Ford owners “took a lesson” from Toyota’s stacked floor mat experience?

  • avatar

    Swap Your Mats.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      The ad they didn’t air featured someone asking Rowe if they could have a few more mats in the Fusion’s footwell. Rowe stared blankly at the camera…

  • avatar
    dwford

    At least in the case of Toyota, their attachments for the floor mats can come loose causing the mats to slide under the accelerator. Here we have a stated case of consumers putting a SECOND mat on top of the factory floor mats, then complaining about the accelerator sticking!! At this rate, the accelerator will become a button on the steering wheel.

    What’s next, a windshield recall because people are driving with the their solar shade still on the dash?!

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      I doubt the accelerator will become a button on the steering wheel, although many cars already have a button there that does just that (wheel-mounted cruise ACC button).

      I remember just about 10 years ago or so there was a rash of incidents in NASCAR where sticking accelerators were blamed in the deaths of Kenny Irwin Jr and Adam Petty. Talk at that time was of requiring a toe clip on the pedal to allow it to be forcibly lifted, which I think may have been voluntarily implemented by a number of teams before they mandated wheel-mounted engine kill switches. Wonder how long until such a thing is discussed for production cars.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    You have it exactly right. In fact, it isn’t even stacking any floormats, the problems apparently only arise when you stack the all-weather (rubber) mats on top of the factory ones.

    Honestly, this shouldn’t be surprising if you look at how the mats attach to the floor. There is a hook anchored to the floor of the car, which hooks into a hole in the mat to keep it secure. If you already have one mat secured, a second mat placed on top will have nothing to hold it in place, and could slide around, potentially pinning a pedal.

    This is not like Toyota’s issue which was due to a faulty design in the floormat securing clip that could lead to properly attached mats to come loose and pin the pedals.

    What has been reported all of 3 times here could happen, and likely has happened, on all other brands of cars.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford has absolutely nothing to worry about here. Even if DaHood does go after Ford, it will just look like more political posturing to benefit Gov’t Motors… and we all saw how well that worked out for them earlier this year.

      Come to think of it, maybe Ford should encourage DaHood to shoot his mouth off.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    None of the cars I drove in my younger days even had floormat hooks. The mat would slide forward on occasion, and I’d have to grab it with my heel and slide it back, no big deal. How is it that this is just now becoming a problem?

    • 0 avatar
      crc

      It seems as the years go on, people are getting progressively more stupid when it comes to cars. If you complain about a sticking accelerator when you have stacked mats, you should be beaten with said mats.

    • 0 avatar
      JimothyLite

      crc — “people are getting progressively more stupid…” You could’ve stopped there, ’cause it ain’t just cars:

      http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/06/padded-lampposts-for-distracted-texters-being-tested-in-london/

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Said is pronounced “Sai-eed”, is sometimes spelled “Sayed”, and is a name popular in Egypt (maybe elsewhere too.)

    People need to be told not to stack mats … my father’s company cars always had stacked mats (in the’70′s and 80′s), and I too did that routinely until about two years ago (stopped doing it only because the carpet mats below were getting wet and not drying …)
    Nobody is perfect, because I know from experience … this failure mode never occurred to me until Toyota had their first problems about 5 years ago (and I am a paranoid FMEA-making automotive safety-product engineer); I consider myself lucky not to have had a problem.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The difference here is that Ford hasn’t been withholding defects about this floormat issue and wants to make the ignorent public aware that when you stack all weather mats on top of normal factory units a problem exists vs Toyota who has tap danced about defective floormats, faulty designed hardware in there pedals and now electronic glitches with there SUA issues. I think there is tad bit of difference going on here and yes people do need to be told to not stack there floormats.

  • avatar

    Ford’s runaway numbers were up there too, from what I remember reading.

    From what I remember they followed the same curve as Toyota, after they introduced all the fun electronics, just to a lesser degree.

    Was it TTAC with the graphs I saw?

    Two important differences on that:

    1. Ford is not Japanese, and will not handle problems like this in the same fashion as Toyota.

    2. Ford is not “old Detroit” automaker anymore, either.

    There is simply an entirely different corporate and national culture in place than any other current automaker (especially when compared to old Detriot and Toyota), and the old Boeing guy at the top seems to have above average leadership qualities.

    If anything comes of this, I would generally expect Ford to be downright impressive even to it’s critics in handling the problem.

    In other words I imagine Ford would completely embarrass Toyota in how it would handle it. I doubt they would be able to resist that opportunity.

    Don’t judge me on a good day, judge me when I am at my worst, right?

    Even though I believe Ford is one of the few automakers to actually bother engineering their vehicles properly in recent times-(overall, always a few approaches I disagree with)I still have been asking myself again and again about the significant number of incidents I’ve seen on the charts with Fords. Nobody else is saying much, but it sure has been on my mind.

    So- as much as I think they generally build a car the right way, this issue has been pretty quiet, and it should not be.

    It is beyond obvious to me that Automakers jumped into electronics over the basic controls far too early, and there are problems that should never exist, period – Ford or not.

    I don’t know why nothing has come out of this problem with the Fords yet, but the longer it floats under the radar the more disturbing it gets. It’s not like they have to imitate Toyota in handling it.

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    We have kill bars on push mowers due to some idiot trying to trim his hedges with his lawnmower.

    My drive-thru coffee is lukewarm and the cup plastered with warnings that this beverage may be hot due to another idiot spilling coffee on her 60 yr old, million dollar va-jay-jay.

    I heard on the radio this morning that a woman is suing Google because she was struck by a car while walking a route provided by Google maps.

    Use hedge trimmers, be careful with hot beverages (or drink iced tea), look both ways before crossing, and don’t stack your floormats…….jeeze!

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    A little touchy this morning Cammy? You have to admit that you tend to be a little biased against Ford. This doesn’t appear to be a design problem as much as people putting all-weather mats on top of the OEM mats…not smart but there are stupid people out there eh!

  • avatar
    Bancho

    I feel the same way about this as I did with the Toyota mat issue. People who stack floormats are generally very stupid. The way the floormats secure to the floor should make it obvious that only a single set of mats should be used at a time. If I’m going to be using “all-weather” mats I’ take the carpeted ones and stick them in the trunk or leave them in the garage where they’re out of the way and safe.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      …and people who are smug are generally very irritating. If you’d lived in snow country, and suffered thru multiple footwell rust-throughs back in the day, you might have a different approach to floor mats. Some accelerator pedal designs appear to be better than others at resisting floormat issues. Some auto makers need to recognize reality. And some readers need to hop off the high horse.

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      I’ve lived in “snow country” and a single set of all weather mats secured using the factory hooks works fine, thanks. I stand by my comment. If you stack mats, you can’t safely secure more than the first set and anything that befalls you for attempting it is your own fault (not you personally truckducken unless you like your floormats stacked like pancakes). More floormats are not a substitute for fixing your rusted out floorboards either (and I certainly do have some ugly stories related to rusted out floorboards…).

  • avatar
    PennSt8

    “At least, so far, Ray LaHood didn’t say “Stop driving your Fords!””

    Was that statement issued after Toyota ran into issues with stacked floor mats? Or was it issued after it was “found” that the accelerator pedal would stick due to a defective pedal design that would stick even with absolutely no floor mats down there at all?

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Anyone dumb enough to stack their floormats deserves to unintentionally accelerate into a tree. It’ll help clean up the gene pool.

  • avatar
    73hal2001

    Floor Mats recalled as Windstar Axles breaking ignored.

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local-beat/Alleged_Minivan_Axle_Problem_Leads_to_Class-Action_Lawsuit_Philadelphia.html


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