By Nora Naughton, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (June 26, 2015) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening an investigation into an estimated 250,000 2011-12 model-year F-150 pickups for a possible defect that could cause loss of power-brake assist.
The preliminary evaluation into the cause and scope of the possible defect was spurred by 32 complaints on the NHTSA website http://www.nhtsa.gov/ alleging electric vacuum assist pump failures resulting in loss of brake power assist and increased brake pedal effort.
The investigation covers F-150s equipped with a 3.5-liter gasoline turbo direct-injection engine.
NHTSA typically opens a preliminary evaluation once consumer complaints suggest there may be a safety defect. When the evaluation is complete, the agency begins an engineering analysis or closes the case. Based on that analysis, NHTSA can order a recall.
The Detroit News reported the story June 26.
Two reported crashes were allegedly caused by increased brake pedal effort required to decelerate or stop the vehicle. No related injuries have been reported.
The complaints have been more frequent in the past nine months, NHTSA said, with 60 percent of complaints filed during that period.
In all of the reported incidents, the brake power assist failure occurred without warning indicators to alert the drive of brake power assist loss, the administration said.
A Ford spokesperson said the company will cooperate with NHTSA's investigation.
This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.