The U.S. government has launched an investigation into certain Ford F-150
trucks after receiving a slew of complaints of sudden brake failure.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
website, the probe includes approximately 420,000 trucks from the 2013
and 2014 model years with 3.5-Liter, six-cylinder engines. The administration
says that is has received 33 complaints about the problem, 20 of which
have been made in the past 20 months.
Drivers have reported that the pedals can suddenly drop to the floor with
a complete loss of braking. Four drivers have been involved in crashes
because of this problem, which may stem from a leak in the master cylinder
to the brake booster. Thankfully, there have been no injuries reported.
Other truck models may eventually be included in the probe, as F-150s with
other engines have the same braking system. Ford is cooperating fully
with the investigation, and asks any vehicle owners who have concerns
about their brakes to contact their dealers.
NHTSA investigators are looking into the prevalence of this problem and
will decide whether a recall is necessary.
This investigation is not the first into Ford F-150 trucks. Last June,
the NHTSA looked into complaints that the power brake assist can potentially
fail on about 250,000 2011 and 2012 model year trucks with 3.5-Liter engines.
This issue is unrelated to the current investigation. The probe was lifted
to an “engineering analysis” in October, bringing it one step
closer to a recall. The defect has resulted in seven crashes, one injury,
and 6,746 warranty claims related to the electric brake vacuum pump.
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