Ford E85 cars under scrutiny.
WASHINGTON - An auto industry watchdog group accused Ford Motor Co. Thursday of selling more than 200,000 Taurus and Sable cars with faulty ethanol-capable fuel systems, asking the federal government to impose $136 million in fuel economy penalties and force Ford to change its advertising. Ford contends the vehicles meet all federal standards, and denies it has misled either the government or buyers. It also defended its use of fuel economy credits, saying the program has worked as Congress intended to create demand for E85, the blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Ethanol-capable vehicles have been the top environmental talking point for Ford and other Detroit automakers this year, as all three have committed to doubling their output of E85-ready vehicles to 2 million annually by 2010.