Ford Recall On Hybrid Brakes ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Ford Recall On Hybrid Brakes

Friday, February 05, 2010

Ford Recall On Hybrid Brakes

On the day after the NHTSA opened an investigation into the Prius braking system, Ford announced they are also fixing an issue in the software that governs the transition from regenerative braking to friction braking in their hybrid cars.

Ford says 17,600 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrids are being recalled (although they say its not an official recall) to have the new software installed to fix the problem.

A Consumer Reports test driver first noticed the issue. The test driver ran a stop sign in a residential area when the brake pedal sank further than normal. Warning light appeared and the car coasted to a stop with minimal feel in the brakes. After turning the car off, then back on, the driver did not have any other issues.

Ford says the software glitch says braking power 'seems' to drop away, as the car switches from regenerative braking to friction braking. This causes the driver to feel the brakes have failed, although Ford says the brakes have not failed. Ford also says the issue is not one of safety, but the repairs they are going to make in their 'not a recall' is a 'customer satisfaction program.'

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does have one complaint about 'minimal resistance' in the brakes. Ford says they had received a small number of customer complaints. There has been one crash and no injuries. Ford says they have reported the problems to the NHTSA.

Ford notified dealers on Thursday about the program. The hybrids built before Oct 17, 2009 are affected, while cars built after that date are not. Ford says they changed the software in cars being built then.

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