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Government investigating Volvos for potential engine problems

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Several models of Volvo sedans and station wagons are under investigation because of complaints that the vehicles can lose speed or the engine can stall without warning, the government said Monday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received 136 complaints about the unit that regulates the amount of air into the vehicle's engine.

The agency has heard of several concerns, including a sudden loss of speed and power steering while driving in highway traffic and the stalling of the engine without warning.

NHTSA said an estimated 266,000 Volvos from the 1999 through 2001 model years are covered in the probe. It includes the C70 and C70 convertible, the S60 sports sedan, the S80 luxury sedan, the V70 station wagon and the V70XC crossover vehicle.

The inquiry, which is in its early stage, also involves the S70 sedan from the 1999-2000 model years. There have been two injuries connected to the alleged defect, NHTSA said.

Dan Johnston, a Volvo Cars of North America spokesman, said the company was cooperating with the government's investigation, which will try to determine the scope, frequency and safety consequences of the alleged defect.

Volvo is part of Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group.

Vehicle owners who reported the problems told the government that in some cases, their vehicles would restart and in other instances it required the vehicles to be towed.

Some owners said they replaced the engine component but it later failed in a similar manner. The inquiry involves the electronic throttle control module, which the company said regulates air into the engine.

NHTSA investigations sometimes lead to vehicle recalls.
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