DETROIT (WWJ) – Ford is recalling nearly 485,000 older model Escape and Mavericks to fix sticking gas pedals that could cause a crash.
The affected vehicles are from the 2001 through 2004 model years, equipped with V6 and cruise control.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 68 complaints about the problem, including 13 crashes, nine injuries and one death. A teenage girl died in the January crash of an Escape in Arizona.
“We have determined that there is inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed control cable, which could allow the throttle to stick if the accelerator pedal is fully or almost fully depressed,” Ford spokeswoman Marcy Zwiebel told WWJ Newsradio 950.
Zwiebel said, if you drive one, don’t “floor it”.
“This is not a condition where the engine will accelerate or go to a wide-open state on its own. The condition only has the potential to occur if the driver has pushed the pedal all the way or almost all the way to the floor,” she said.
Ford has a temporary fix until parts come in. Dealers will replace the engine cover fasteners and raise the covers to create more space. Owners can take their vehicles to the dealer and have the work done right away.
The recall comes just over a week after U.S. safety regulators began investigating the Escape small SUV.