The Ford Motor Company recently paid $17.5 million to settle a dispute with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning the company’s failure to launch a needed recall in a timely manner, according to a recent article in Auto Remarketing.

The recall involved more than 420,000 Ford Escape vehicles in model years 2001 through 2004. The NHTSA had initially investigated the vehicles after receiving multiple complaints that the throttle was becoming stuck in the “open” position, even after the driver took his or her foot off the accelerator. Upon investigation, the agency determined that the cause of the problem was inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed control cable connector, and the problem could occur even if the cruise control was not engaged.

The NHTSA’s recall notice issued to Ford instructed the automaker to inform owners and dealers about the problem and to have dealers fix the problem free of charge. Although the recall was supposed to begin on August 6, 2012, the NHTSA noted in June 2013 that Ford had delayed the recall, potentially violating the federal Safety Act.

Although Ford disputes that it violated any laws, the company did pay a penalty to the NHTSA of just over $17 million. Ford argues that replacement parts were not available until recently. The recall is now underway.

At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, our dedicated San Diego car accident lawyers will help protect you and your family if hidden vehicle defects have caused you harm. Contact us today to learn more.

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