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Ford recalls close to 9000 SUVs

Ford has issued the safety recall for its imported Escape SUVs built between November 1st 2001 and February 1st 2006.

The Australian car maker has issued the safety recall for 8798 of its imported Escape - models with the 3-litre V6 with cruise control only - built between November 1st 2001 and February 1st 2006, over a problem with the cruise control cable and the engine cover.

Ford Australia spokesman Martin Gunsberg said the recall relates to 18,480 vehicles across that Asia Pacific and Africa region. "A similar recall was issued relating to left-hand drive versions of this vehicle with the same issue earlier this year," he said.

The recall notice said the possibility of "inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the cruise control cable" which could allow "the engine to be stuck at full power when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed.

The company's recall notice also said a throttle that is stuck fully or almost fully open may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop or slow the vehicle. The problem may occur "regardless of whether the cruise control is being used or not."

Owners are being advised by the carmaker, who is writing to those owners affected, to contact a Ford dealership for inspection and rectification. The notice also warns driver to avoid near or full-throttle pedal pressure in a bid to reduce the chances of the dangerous problem occurring.

"If a driver experiences a stuck throttle, the driver should firmly and steadily apply the brakes without pumping the brake pedal, shift to neutral, steer the vehicle to a safe location and switch the engine off after the vehicle has completely stopped," the recall notice said.

Ford in the US is recalling nearly 485,000 Escape V6 SUVs to fix sticking accelerator pedals after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received 68 complaints relating to 13 crashes, nine injuries and one death, however Ford Australia has received no reports of the issue occurring here.

For further information, contact Ford's customer relationship centre on 1800 503 672.