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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 Ford Mustang

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Ford Mustang, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. SPARK PLUG EJECTION FROM CYLINDER HEAD NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP05005

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 22, 2005
    • Date Closed: January 04, 2006
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline

    Summary: On September 6, 2005, ODI received a petition requesting that the Agency investigate allegations of engine spark plug ejection in certain model year 1997 through 2004 Ford vehicles with Triton V-8 and V-10 engines.ODI received a total of 474 non-duplicative complaints on the subject vehicles where the complainant, or the dealer repairing the vehicle, reported that a spark plug detached from the cylinder and/or ejected from the engine.as of December 8, 2005, ODI is not aware of any allegations where the alleged defect resulted in a loss of vehicle control, a crash, an injury, or a fatality in any of the 10,319,810 subject vehicles.in addition, ODI is aware of only two incidents where the vehicle stalled without restart.information contained in the ODI consumer complaints and obtained from 72 telephone interviews with complainants showed the following:(1) 99% of the complaints were on MY 1997 to 2002 subject vehicles.(2) most the complainants reported hearing a loud pop while driving or upon starting up the vehicle followed by a loud, repetitive clicking or popping sound.(3) many of the complainants reported that the popping sound was accompanied by some loss of vehicle power; however, in 99% of the incidents reported, the vehicle did not stall.in the very few incidents where the vehicle did stall, most vehicles could be restarted.(4) only a small percentage of the complainants cited that they smelled gas or a slight burning smell when the incident occurred.(5) in all but a very few incidents, vehicle damage was limited to the engine.in one incident, the complaint reported that the fuel rail was damaged and replaced after one of the spark plugs ejected from the engine; however, the complainant reported that the damage did not result in any type of fuel leak or fire.in another incident, the only incident where a fire was alleged, the complainant reported that no fluid leak was observed, but that a fire resulted after the spark plug had ejected from the engine and he had restarted the vehicle and driven to another location.none of the complainants reported any damage to the vehicle hood.(6) only two complainants reported that they observed what appeared to be some drops of fuel coming from the cylinder where the spark plug had failed or on the spark plug itself; however, each of these complainants reported that there was no smoke or flames as a result of his incident.as the petitioner noted, and ODI's analysis showed, it is possible for a spark plug to detach from the engine cylinder threads in the subject vehicles.however, ODI's analysis of 474 complaints describing such incidents found only a very few alleged any safety-related consequences.none of these showed any evidence of a serious safety consequence.given the large population and relatively long exposure time of the subject vehicles, the complaint analysis indicates that the risk to motor vehicle safety from the alleged defect is very low.in view of the foregoing, it is unlikely that NHTSA would issue an order for the notification and remedy of the alleged defect at the conclusion of the investigation requested in the petition.therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the Agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP05005 »

  2. ACCELERATOR PEDAL INTERFERENCE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA05014

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: On April 3, 2006, Ford Motor Company submitted a defect information report to NHTSA concerning a defect condition that could result in interference between the accelerator pedal and floor carpeting in approximately 19,140 model year 2003 and 2004 Mustang cobra vehicles (Ford recall no. 06S43/NHTSA recall 06V-108, copy attached).Ford will recall the vehicles to install a shield beneath the accelerator pedal to prevent the pivot pin on the rear surface of the pedal from coming into contact with the floor carpeting during heavy throttle application.in those vehicles where the floor carpeting does not fit flush with the sheet metal, the unique rear surface profile of the Mustang cobra pedal may allow the pivot pin of the pedal to catch in the cutout on the floor carpeting behind the pedal, interfering with the pedal's ability to return; the result of which could be unexpected, continued throttle application.during the engineering analysis stage of the investigation, ODI also examined the possiblity of the same phenomena occuring in non-cobra Mustangs.however, the different design of the accelerator pedals on the non-cobra Mustangs results in significant differences in the potential contact between the accelerator pedal and the carpeting, with the base of the pedal pad acting to force the carpet away from the pivot pin.this engineering analysis has been closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA05014 »

  3. ACCELERATOR PEDAL INTERFERENCE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE05038

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: July 07, 2005
    • Date Closed: September 13, 2005
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: PE05-038 was opened on July 7, 2005, with 11 consumer complaints to ODI alleging incidents of throttle sticking due to accelerator pedal interference with the carpet.ODI has received an additional 24 complaints since the PE was opened.during PE05-038, Ford supplied complaint and warranty information regarding 86 additional incidents of accelerator pedal interference in model year 2003 to 2004 Mustang cobra vehicles.eighty-five of these had concerns of accelerator pedal sticking, 70 of which were analyzed as being related to carpet interference.ODI is continuing its analysis of the causal factors in the remaining 15 incidents.this preliminary evaluation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE05038 »

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