It’s safe to say that the Ford Freestyle doesn’t represent the automaker’s finest moment. Part station wagon, part crossover vehicle, the Freestyle stands out in my mind only for having the worst engine / CVT transmission pairing in modern automotive history. I’ve had dialogue with Ford engineers who worked on developing the Freestyle, and the common apologetic theme is “we did the best we could with what we had to work with”. To no one’s surprise, the over-priced and under-contented Freestyle never sold particularly well, and Ford pulled the plug after a three year model run from 2005 to 2007 (although the similar Taurus X was sold from 2008 through 2009).
Now the NHTSA is investigating complaints of unintended lunging in 2005 to 2007 Ford Freestyles. The agency has found a connection between this condition and 18 crashes, none resulting in injury. Some drivers report that lunging occurs when the steering wheel is turned hard left or hard right, while other drivers report that lunging occurs when the air conditioning system is on. All cases are at low speed, and lunging has occurred in vehicles both in drive and in reverse. Only the Ford Freestyle is being investigated, as the Taurus X switched to a different engine (Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6) than the 3.0-liter V-6 used in the Freestyle.
Should the NHTSA investigation determine that there is a safety defect, the next step is to petition Ford to implement a recall. Since this is still under investigation by the NHTSA, any consumer complaints should be directed to the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation.
Source: Left Lane News