The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a formal investigation into consumer complaints that certain Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers can unexpectedly slip out of park. The defect investigation was launched on April 21st. The defect investigation document says:
A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency and potential safety consequences of the alleged defect and any relationship of the alleged gearshift lever mechanism failures to the alleged vehicle rollaway incidents.
NHTSA is looking at 2002 through 2005 model year Explorers and Mountaineers. The agency has received 11 complaints of vehicle rollaways after the driver shifted the vehicle into park. In addition, 61 other vehicle owners have alleged failure of the gear shift lever mechanism while shifting from or to the park position. There were about 1.4 million of the SUVs produced for the model years involved in the investigation.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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