In Taurus Inquiry, Safety Agency Requests Information on 1.52 Million Additional Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has requested information on a further 1.52 million vehicles to assist in its investigation of 395,000 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable models. The sedans became the subject of an investigation after owners claimed on the agency’s Web site that loose cruise control cables caused throttles to become stuck, resulting in unintended acceleration.

Some media outlets reported Monday that the initial safety investigation was expanded to include nearly two million sedans, but Karen Aldana, a N.H.T.S.A. spokeswoman, said that was not the case.

Ms. Aldana wrote in an e-mail that the agency asked Ford for information on Monday about the 2001-4 Taurus and Sable, the Taurus’s mechanical equivalent under the defunct Mercury brand, “to obtain a basis for comparison” for the investigation, which covers the 2005-6 models years of those vehicles.

The agency often asks for information on what it calls peer vehicles, including from competing brands, to assist its investigators. Though the agency has asked for information from Ford about a total 1.92 million vehicles, only 395,000 of them, representing the 2005-6 model years, are suspected of having a problem.

In a document posted over the weekend on the agency’s Web site, N.H.T.S.A. noted receiving 14 complaints from owners, including some who said they had to shift the automatic transmission into neutral or turn off the engine to slow the vehicle. The Web site reflected more than two dozen total complaints.

That document estimated that 360,000 vehicles would be investigated. On Tuesday, however, the agency provided additional details indicating that the population under investigation was closer to 395,000.