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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,215 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Mercury Sable engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Mercury Sable Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Mar 282016


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Mercury Sable. While driving at 30 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact stated that the brake pedal was depressed, but failed to slow the vehicle. The contact placed the vehicle in neutral to slow it down, but the engine continued to rev at a high RPM. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The failure was intermittent. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #36

Nov 042015


  • 89,000 miles
While driving the Sable at approximately 25 mi. Per hr.(clear road, dry conditions)in congested traffic conditions. Going through a set of traffic lights, luckily the light had just turned green, ,the vehicle suddenly surged up to 3000 RPM. Fortunately, going through the lights, my foot was near the brake pedal. When I heard and felt the acceleration, I immediately hit the brake and kept my right foot on it as the vehicle continued to push forward with full brakes applied. Luckily the vehicle was under the brakes control, while still revvvving, I put the vehicle into neutral and pulled over, tuned ignition off. The front disc brakes were smoking. Opened hood, noticed nothing unusual, this is the only report of this incident.will seek immediate cure today. This is my 66 Y.O. girl friend car.she is now horrified to use it! November 5,2015.

- Fairfield, ME, USA

problem #35

Aug 312015


  • 164,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Mercury Sable. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated unintentionally when driving. On another occasion, while at a stop light, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact stated that firm pressure had to be applied to the brake pedal to keep the vehicle from lunging forward. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 164,000.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #34

Sep 182015


  • 140,000 miles


While under acceleration 50%-75% the throttle cable can slide out of the cable retainer and keep the throttle from returning to idle leading to the throttle being stuck open resulting in speeds over 100mph if no action is taken.

- Mingo Junction, OH, USA

problem #33

Feb 092015


  • 60,000 miles
I was driving along the highway at approximately 45 mph when suddenly accelerator sped up to a high rate of speed. Could not slow down when braking. Car continued to accelerate. Could not get car to slow down no matter what I tried. Had to turn car off to come to a stop. The local wichita falls Ford company says there is recall for this problem, but I have read all over the net that it is a problem Ford Motor Company said that it would fix. Called Ford Motor Co. Headquarters and they said there is no recall issued for this problem and they will not fix it. I should not have to pay for this when Ford knows it is an ongoing problem. I am 73 years old and do not have money for this kind of repair.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #32

Oct 152014

Sable 6-cyl

  • 161,000 miles
Going to work and going up a steep hill on a windy 2 lane highway and topped the hill at approximately 40 mph and when I let off the throttle the throttle pedal returned but the speed stayed at 40 mph and at 4000 RPM. I punched and released the throttle pedal and it went to 6000 RPM and didn't return. I stepped on the brakes and slowed the vehicle a little but not much. I was coming up on a turn at a high rate of speed and had to shift in to neutral and shut the car off. I coasted to the side of the road and raised the hood. I seen that where the throttle cable and the cruise control cable went in to the mounting bracket that the cruise control cable was hanging out the side of the grey plastic holder that holds it into the mounting bracket. The grey plastic guide holder had broke and the cable had slipped out of the holder and wasn't able to go back in when the throttle was open thus left the throttle half open. I was able to manually slide it back into the grey plastic guide holder and put wire on it to safely get it home. The holder needs to either be metal or a better grade of plastic. The grey plastic guide holder is also the same as the one on the throttle cable. I'm sure its going to break soon also. Thank you.

- Alledonia, OH, USA

problem #31

Jul 072013

Sable 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Mercury Sable. The contact stated while driving approximately 20 mph the vehicle accelerated on its own. The contact was forced to depress the brake pedal with both feet and place the vehicle in neutral gear in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle accelerated to approximately 70 mph for a 16 mile stretch. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis. The tow truck driver inspected the vehicle and noticed the cruise control cable had disengaged causing the acceleration. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 96,000.

- Niagara Falls, NY, USA

problem #30

Jan 252012

Sable 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Accelerator cable broke off from gas pedal.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #29

Mar 152013

Sable 6-cyl

  • miles
Accelerator cable broke in half as I entered I-295 from on ramp.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #28

Mar 012013


  • 60,000 miles
Within the last week my 2001 Mercury Sable reached the 60,000 mile mark. Once over that mark the accelerator pedal began to stick each time I would accelerate the vehicle too much. For example, merging onto the highway and needing to speed up the car would rev the engine as without my foot on the pedal. This would continue as if I was pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor even if my foot was firmly on the brake. The only resolution to this sudden extreme acceleration would be to stomp on the accelerator over and over again. In one instance the vehicle would not stop even after it was put into park, it wasn't until the vehicle was turned off when it stopped. This happened three times before I brought the vehicle into be repaired.

- Rockland, MA, USA

problem #27

Jan 012013


  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Mercury Sable. The contact was driving approximately 65 mph and exhibited an unexpected increase in acceleration. The brake pedal was depressed several times before the vehicle would stop. The cruise control was not engaged when the failure occurred. The contact stated that the vehicle would be towed to an independent auto shop for inspection. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #26

Oct 012009


  • 120,000 miles
After getting up to cruising speed on the highway my car would continue to accelerate even when I stopped giving it gas. I disconnected the cruise control cable and this fixed the problem, but now I can't use my cruise control.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #25

Oct 262012


  • 126,000 miles
Without applying pressure to accelerator, the car accelerated uncontrollably. Needed to apply brakes completely and put trans in neutral to stop car.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #24

Nov 142011

Sable 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My 2001 Mercury Sable accelerated as I entered the highway. The car would not stop even when I applied the brake. I called 911. The 911 operator suggested that I apply the parking brake which I did. I went about 15 miles riding the shoulder going between 60-70 miles per hour. I eventually exited the highway but could not stop even at the end of the exit ramp. I made a right hand turn. At this point I had reduced my speed to approximately 30 miles per hour. The car eventually landed in a ditch. At that point, I ended my call with 911. I looked to my left and found four men yelling to me to get out of the car. I then learned that the car was on fire. I exited the car. The four men put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. The car was towed to a Mercury dealership where it is documented that it was in fact the speed control cable that caused the car to accelerate. Again, between the 911 call, the information on file with the Mercury dealer and the insurance claim, the cause of the incident is documented.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #23

Aug 012012


  • 215,000 miles
The contact owns 2001 Mercury Sable. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle began to accelerate independently. The contact tried to slow the vehicle but the brakes failed. The contact had to repeatedly apply abrupt force to the brake pedal before the vehicle would respond. The contact shut the vehicle off and noticed that there was a piece of plastic broken and sitting on the accelerator throttle. The vehicle was not repaired. The cause of the failure was unknown. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 215,000.

- Goffstown, NH, USA

problem #22

Feb 242010

Sable 6-cyl

  • 118,399 miles
Driving on the hwy with my 3 yr old daughter @ approx 65 mph the veh started accelerating on its own. Even with pressing the brake veh would slow down but kept accelerated on its own ( and it kept climbing until I pressed on the brake) and got upto approx 80 mph. I was able to safely get veh off the hwy with depressing the brake extremely hard (and veh kept creeping forward, luckily the light turned green quickly) and a Ford dlrshp was right next to the hwy. Dlrshp performed repairs. They replaced the accelerator cable assembly for the throttle control. I was adv by dlrshp that the plastic piece on the cruise control throttle broke and got stuck on my regular accelerator cable. I cant begin to say how frightened I was for my daughters safety as well as my own. I seen there is an investigation for 2005 & 2006 need to also look @ the 2001 Sable for the same problem! someone is going to get killed if they don't do something about it.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #21

Jan 232012


  • miles
Whenever I turn on the air conditioner or heater my car accelerates suddenly in a randomly manner for no reason by itself, when heater or air conditioner is turned off the problem stops, there's no check engine light on and an inspection yielded no problems, I am not sure if the problem is electrical or anything else and a local Ford dealer has refused to fix the issue.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #20

Mar 102004

Sable 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I registered this complaint before via telephone. Now I see that the NHTSA is looking into Ford Taurus with the same acceleration problem. The problem is the E-ring on the end of the cruise control cable. Even though you're not using the cruise control, if the E-ring fails the cable gets caught and the car accelerates. This happened a few times and when I brought it in, the dealer couldn't find the problem. There's a cover over the cruise control cable where the E-ring is. I ripped off the cover and worked the accelerator by hand and saw the problem. I never replaced the E-ring and just tied off the cruise control cable and not use the cruise control. I haven't had any problems since. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Batavia, IL, USA

problem #19

Aug 052011


  • 150,000 miles
I was driving my 2001 Sable (24V DOHC) and the car began acting like the gas pedal was stuck. I could lift the pedal up with my toe and that did not stop the acceleration. I shifted into neutral and turned the car off and coasted into a parking lot. When I restarted the car the engine was racing. I opened the hood and found the problem to be "a broken (plastic) retainer ring at the end of the cruise control cable by the throttle body" as someone else described it better than I could in technical details. I could reset the cable and seemed to be fine unless I accelerated too quickly, because that seemed to what triggered it to get stuck. I could still go fast (interstate speed), but I could not go fast too quickly. I temporarily fixed the problem by taping the broken cable with duct tape or electrical tape which seemed to work for a couple months. I experienced the problem about 10 times in a four month period before trading the vehicle to a dealer. Due to the recent recall of the later models tauruses I thought I should report the issues I had. I never informed the manufacturer about this and I never took it to a professional for diagnosis.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #18

Jun 192011


  • 71,898 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Mercury Sable. While merging onto a highway, the accelerator pedal began to stick. The contact pushed the brake pedal and then proceeded to tap on the accelerator which stopped the pedal from sticking again. The dealer and manufacturer were notified of the failure, but did not diagnose the failure. The failure was not repaired. The failure mileage was 71,989 and the current mileage was 72,000.

- Mineola, NY, USA

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