According to the Associated Press, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is training its gaze on 2005-2012 Ford Escape. According to the report, the federal safety agency has opened a probe at the behest of the North Carolina Consumers Council, which petitioned for an investigation following a pair of complaints related to throttle issues.

The council noted in its petition that Ford has previously acknowledged a problem with hesitation and stalling in Escape models, as it has issued a series of technical service bulletins to its dealer body to deal with the issue.

The NHTSA inquiry is not a full-blown investigation at this time and there is no recall pending. No crashes or injuries have been reported due to the problem, but up to 1.6 million examples of the popular crossover could be affected if NHTSA's study does trigger a recall.

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