NHTSA Upgrades its investigation of Ford Explorer SUV defects

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NHTSA Upgrades its investigation of Ford Explorer SUV defects

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it will be upgrading its investigation of 20,275 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor SUVs with sudden brake failures.

An investigation was originally opened in April 2015 after several reports were filed for low-mileage brake failures in training vehicles in Sacramento, California. The failures affect the front brake jounce hoses. There have been seven reports in five different Explorer Police Interceptor SUVs from the Sacramento police force that were used in its Emergency Vehicle Operation Course training. The majority of incidents happened on the course used for accident avoidance and pursuit maneuver training. The incidents also resulted in the vehicles running off the course, but there were no crashes or property damage as a result.

The defect is related to the hose assemblies which either leaked or pulled away from the caliper-end attachment where the hose is fitted to the steel end fitting. The five vehicles that involved incidents have all been repaired with the new front hose assembly that is used in 2016 models. The remedy includes a short steel tube attached to the caliper and banjo block. No other incidents have been reported regarding the other 37 vehicles in the Sacramento fleet.

Ford has informed NHTSA that other similar failures have been reported by other fleets. Ford’s stance on the issue is that the failure is attributed to excessive temperatures produced during certain portions of the training duty when the vehicles are stationary after hard braking exercises with no cooling air flow running through the brake rotor vents. Ford has replaced all of the 2014-2015 hoses in the Sacramento fleet Interceptor vehicles. NHTSA must upgrade an investigation before it can issue a formal demand for a recall, which is the direction it looks like things are headed for these vehicles.

If you or someone you know has experiences loss or injury due to a vehicle defect, contact our law offices today to talk with one of our experienced product liability attorneys.

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