Ford's Police Interceptor Utility Off the Hook As Brake Investigation Wraps Up
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s probe into reports of exhaust gasses leaking into the cabin of certain Ford Explorers continues, the company doesn’t have to worry about the brakes on its law enforcement variants anymore.
After launching an investigation into front brake hose failures — at the request of the Sacramento Police Department — in 2015, the NHTSA returned the verdict this week. Nothing inherently wrong with those front stoppers, it said. It seems the Sacramento PD really, really pushes its vehicles in pursuit training.
Seeking evidence of a defect trend, the agency’s probe looked at “maximum front caliper crimp temperatures under various test conditions” and tested “hose assemblies removed from police interceptor service for any signs of thermal degradation.” The investigation concerned vehicles from the 2013 to 2015 model years.
While it determined that the brake hose failures resulted from “exposure to extremely high heat at the caliper-side hose crimp,” none of the Police Interceptor Utility vehicles pulled from patrol and pursuit duties for testing showed any sign of the condition.
“The low number of hose assembly failure reports and the absence of any verified incidents of heat related front brake hose crimp failures since 2015 suggests that the Sacramento PD incidents resulted from conditions unique to the training program,” the NHTSA said in its rundown. No recall or further investigation is warranted.
In light of the agency’s finding, it’s odd that other police departments didn’t report the same issue. The Police Interceptor Utility is one of the most common pursuit vehicles you’ll see, and trainees put those rigs through their paces from coast to coast.
Another brake hose issue did crop up in 2013, also on the same type of vehicle. However, in 2015 the NHTSA determined that the brake hose failures reported by the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department originated from “a small tear in the outer cover on the body end of the hoses on the outboard side.”
While it couldn’t identify a defect in the hose material, the investigation suggested that improper repair procedures likely contributed to the tears. In other words, the guy tasked with swapping the brake discs allowed the caliper to dangle from its brake hose during servicing.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]
Brilly on Nov 26, 2018
If anybody is listening.. I have a 2013 Ford Edge and I have had brake failure twice! Ford replaced booster then it failed again. Now replacing master cylinder. Lots of similar complaints along with Fords lack of responsibility to completely fix the problem!! Personally I feel it is a more expensive fix than a defective booster which ford claims is the reason.I think it is a defective hydraulic control braking unit which Ford would have to pay alot more to replace! Many people have had multiple brake failures and our lives are at risk.Ford only offers an extended warranty on the brake booster and will only replace it twice. Too bad if that does not work...(which it doesnt) Greed and lack of concern for lives are a bad mark for this company. I will never buy another one after owning 4 Ford automobiles. This will be the last time. Fact check this and you will find it true!
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