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Ford Recalls 424,164 Taurus/Sables, Toyota Recalls 59,394 Echo's

DETROIT, Oct 8, 2002; Reuters reported that Ford Motor Co. said on Tuesday that it has recalled 424,164 of its Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable mid-size cars with adjustable pedals because the brake and accelerator pedals on an estimated 10 percent of the models are too close.

Simultaneously stepping on the brake and the accelerator pedals could result in unintentionally increasing the vehicle speed or make it more difficult to stop, the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said on Tuesday.

Ford has received 18 reports of accidents and two reports of injuries as a result of the pedals being too close together or unintentional speed increase, Ford spokesman Todd Nissen said.

The recalled vehicles, including 369,614 in the United States alone, are primarily model year 2000 and 2001 vehicles. There are also a small number of 2002 model year cars in the recall, Nissen said.

An estimated 10 percent of the recalled cars have pedals that are less than 5 centimeters (1.95 inches) apart, Nissen said. Authorized Ford and Mercury dealers will check the recalled cars and adjust those pedals that are found to be too close together, Nissen said.

Also on Tuesday, Toyota Motor Corp. recalled 59,394 of its Echo compact cars because snow could accumulate in the rear wheel well and could eventually damage the brake line during driving, NHTSA said.

Damage to the brake line could result in brake fluid leakage, which could cause a decrease in the brakes' effectiveness, the NHTSA said.

Toyota will begin notifying owners next month to take their vehicles to a dealer, who will replace the rear wheel brake lines, the NHTSA said.