DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.'s Fusion and Mercury Milan cars are under investigation by U.S. regulators because floor mats may trap the accelerator pedals, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
About 249,300 cars from the 2010 model year may be affected, NHTSA said today on its Web site. The agency said it received three complaints about accelerator pedals being trapped by unsecured all-weather floor mats. No crashes or injuries have been reported.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest automaker, has recalled about 5.4 million vehicles in the past year for floor mats that the company said may entrap gas pedals and cause unintended acceleration.
“It isn't just the company that's facing the investigation or recall,” John Wolkonowicz, an auto analyst with IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass., said in an interview. “It's a black eye for the entire industry.”
The Fusion is Ford's best-selling car, accounting for 38 percent of sales for Ford-brand passenger cars this year through April and the Milan represents more than a third of Mercury vehicle sales, according to Ford's May 3 sales report.
Optional all-weather floor mats should be installed after unfastening and removing the standard, carpeted floor mat on the driver's side of the car, NHTSA said in a May 28 statement. Owners should ensure the mat is “never stacked,” the agency said.
“We do not recommend stacking floor mats in any vehicle by any automaker,” Ford spokesman Said Deep said in an interview. “We're not aware of any customer complaints or accidents with properly installed floor mats. We're going to cooperate fully with NHTSA.”