Safety Regulators Investigating Claims Of Sticky Throttles In Ford Tauruses

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into claims that 2005-2006 Ford Tauruses are having acceleration problems, reminding us that the Ford Taurus still exists. Those cars have been around so long, it’s more like, dino-taurus! Am I right?

Terrible puns aside, the NHTSA is taking complaints that accelerators in those model years are sticking, says the Associated Press. However, they’re not looking into the Mercury Sable, which uses almost exactly the same parts as the Taurus and is practically identical. No injuries or crashes have been reported yet.

The investigation encompasses almost 360,000 vehicles, and could possibly lead to a recall if the complaints turn out to be true. Drivers are saying it’s hard to stop the car with the brakes, or turn off the engine or shift to neutral to stop. One driver ran a red light before being able to stop.

Ford spokesman Daniel Pierce said the company is cooperating in the probe, adding that he’s not sure why the Sable isn’t part of the investigation. . He said the company was just notified of the investigation and he did not know why the Sable was not included.

US investigates stuck throttles in Ford Tauruses [Associated Press]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hi_Hello says:


    • phil says:

      But no manual Taurus available in ’05-’06.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Drivers are saying it’s hard to stop the car with the brakes, or turn off the engine or shift to neutral to stop.

      The key is an electrical circuit, it isn’t connected physically to the transmission or engine. A pulling engine might be hard to stop with brakes (not really, the brakes should override the engine on any car) or might make it difficult to shift to neutral. Nothing should make it physically difficult to turn the key off.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        And I have no idea why that comment ended up under the “clutch” comment (which I agree with by the way).

  2. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Makes sense to investigate. My money’s on the end conclusion being “operator error.”

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      On a 7 year old car, it’s entirely possible that a dirty throttle body is sticking open causing the vehicle to accelerate for no reason.

  3. mister_roboto says:

    Is it “Tauruses” or ” Taurii”

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    “Safety Regulators Investigating Claims Of Sticky Throttles In Ford Tauruses”

    Nothing that a little gunk remover and WD-40 couldn’t fix.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Given the age of the vehicles being investigated, that was my first thought too — dirty throttle body.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Dear Nigerian Prince,
        I have sent you the $15,000 needed to help you get the $86.54 million dollars out of the country that the Ministry of Petroleum was holding for your father before his untimely death in a plane crash. Of course, my usual 25% unintended consequences fee applies.

  5. The Twilight Clone says:

    No cat in that photo? Let me help you:

  6. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    Hmm. Never had any of these problems with my 06 Taurus. (Obviously, my experience may not be representative of the entire pool of vehicles).

  7. Marlin says:

    If the sable does not have this problem then its not a maker issue but user. The 2 cars are the SAME.
    Its like saying they are checking out the chevy trucks but not the GMC trucks.

    • pythonspam says:

      Nope, the badges and special grill keep the throttle from sticking.

      Actually, its more likely that they sold many more Tauruses than Sables (The Mercury name doesn’t mean what it used to.) The only cars that have had this issue are Tauruses because of higher market exposure, and as such, they are limiting the recall to the specific models where the issue has been reported.

      Disclaimer: I own a ’91 Colony Park and ’99 Grand Marquis LS and will probably buy one more as they stopped producing Mercury’s in January.

      • shepd says:

        You’ll have a really hard time buying a new MGM. As in impossible. The plant closed a few months ago, and spent the last year only making export vehicles.

        Enjoy your CVPI, though, since MGMs are hard to find to start with, and basically non-existent after 2007. It’s alright, the CVPI is a nice ride, once you wash the back seat properly. And the interceptor badge alone is worth the cost of entry.

    • Mozz says:

      Not the same, the Merc had the 3.0 dohc while the Taurus had the 3.0 sohc with dohc optional.

  8. golfinggiraffe says:

    So, when do the Congressional investigations start?

  9. allen says:

    this sounds like a bunch of SHO owners getting pulled over and having to follow through with the excuse told to police officers. “But sir! My accelerator was stuck back there! Why of course ill be filing a report…”

  10. Dukebruno says:

    One of the featured dancers I saw at the Gentlemen’s Club last week was named Sticky Throttles. Boy were they!

  11. neilb says:

    Part of my yearly maintenance on my cars is to pull off the intake snorkel and use a rag coated with a light oil (WD40 is fine) to clean around the throttle butterfly (opening it with the other hand–look for where the cable attaches).
    I suggest you do it too. It only takes a few minutes (mostly getting the darn snorkel on and off) and it is an important thing to keep clean.
    This isn’t just a Taurus thing (though maybe they are a bit more susceptible). This can happen to nearly all modern cars (eventually, and given certain reasonable scenarios within your engine and intake). I have seen carbon buildup on the butterfly with Neons, Corollas, and Civics.

  12. FLConsumer says:

    It’s a Ford Taurus. 0-60 in what, 15 seconds? Certainly long enough to reach for the brake or kill the ignition.

  13. reknight says:

    I actually had this happen on my 06 Taurus. Was in traffic on a tollway when it seemed to be a bit harder to slow down then usual. Once I exited the tollway I noticed that the engine was idleing at about 2500-3000 rmps while I was stopped at lights. Only had about 2 miles to home and was able to stop the car, just with ALOT more break effort. Once home I shut the car off, waited a min, and restarted. Idle shot to 2500-3000 rpms right away, so I popped the hood and checked the throttle body and gave a tug on the throttle cable, it released and dropped to a normal idle speed.

    Haven’t had an issue since.