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Recalled: 1997-1998 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a list of auto safety recalls announced in November and December 2000 and urged consumers to have the problems fixed promptly.

Ford Motor Company

Models: Ford Explorer Years: 1997-1998 Mercury Mountaineer Years: 1997-1998

Number Involved: 220,000

Dates of Manufacture: May 1996 - May 1998

Defect: On certain sport utility vehicles equipped with 4.0L SOHC engines that still retain the original throttle body (Part Numbers 97JF-9E926AB or 97JF-9E926-AC), a gap between the plate and bore of these throttle bodies was too narrow. This reduced clearance allowed the engine deposits normally present in the throttle body to contact or bridge the gap. If the engine deposits bridged the gap between the throttle plate and bore and then hardened, on the initial application of the accelerator pedal after the engine has cooled, the operator would need to apply additional force to the accelerator pedal to break the bridge. This could result an unexpected engine surge, increasing the risk of a crash.

Remedy: Dealers will replace the original throttle bodies. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification will begin March 26, 2001. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.

[NHTSA Recall No. 00V422/Ford Recall No. 00S58]