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Ford Tauruses being investigated for sticking throttles

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By Peter Valdes-Dapena

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 2000 – 2003 Ford Tauruses and Mercury Sables for a problem that can cause the engine to keep running as if the gas pedal were pressed even when it’s not.

According to a document posted on NHTSA’s website, an attachment that holds the speed control cable can break, causing the cable to become stuck.

The vehicles involved in the investigation are model year 2000 through 2003 Tauruses and Sables — the two models are essentially identical — with 4-valve 3.0-liter V6 Duratec engines. An estimated 310,000 cars may be involved.

For now, NHTSA is not recalling any vehicles, but is performing a “preliminary investigation,” to determine the extent of the problem and its potential for damage.

By the time the investigation was opened, NHTSA was aware of 50 complaints. The problem has not been seen in other V6-equipped Taurus or Sable cars, according to the document.

Ford Motor Co. did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the investigation.