October 7, 2016 — The government has opened a safety investigation into 25 reports of sudden brake failure on Ford F-150 trucks (2015-2016) with 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engines.
All of the reports describe “sudden and complete brake loss.” Some specifically say the brake fluid was low or the master cylinder failed.
According to documents (PDF) posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
“Complaints allege symptoms of brake pedal going to the floor with sudden and complete loss of brake effectiveness.”
The NHTSA received 10 reports for the 2015 model-year and 15 reports for the 2016 model-year. The difference is that the brake warning-light illuminated on the 2015 trucks, but not the 2016 trucks.
Around 282,000 trucks could be affected. If a recall is issued, it would double the number of F-150s recalled for total brake failures this year.
In May 2016, Ford recalled about 225,000 F-150s from the 2013 and 2014 model-years with 3.6L EcoBoost V6 engines. Ford said brake fluid could leak from the master cylinder and cause a sudden loss of braking power.
No serious injuries were reported, but it would take a longer distance to stop the 2.5-ton vehicle. Nine accidents and 120 complaints were linked to the problem, according to the New York Times.
The 2011 and 2012 model-year F-150s have been linked to another type of brake problem — power brake assist failures — but no recall was issued. The NHTSA investigated last year and found 432 complaints, 7 crashes, one injury, and 6,476 warranty claims related to electric brake vacuum pumps.
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