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Ford Motor Fixing Regenerative Braking on Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids

Appears to be a similar problem to the Toyota Prius braking issue – software calibration.

by on Feb.04, 2010

Ford will recall two hybrid models, including its Fusion, to fix software-related braing problems.

Under prodding from Consumer Reports, a long-time strong proponent of Toyota quality, Ford Motor Company has launched a customer satisfaction program to update the software of the regenerative brake system of some 2010-model Ford Fusion Hybrids and Mercury Milan Hybrids.

“We have received reports that some drivers have experienced a different brake feel when the hybrid’s unique regenerative brakes switch to conventional hydraulic braking. While the vehicles maintain full braking capability, customers may initially perceive the condition as loss of brakes,” Ford said in a statement.

This is exactly the same type of problem that editor Ken Zino exposed back in December with Toyota Prius Hybrid brakes.

To be clear, Ford claims the Fusion and Milan Hybrids’ brake system maintains full conventional brakes and full ABS function even as the customer sees visual indicators and hears a chime. The software threshold to transition from regenerative brakes to conventional brakes can cause the system to transition to conventional brakes unnecessarily, Ford spokesperson Said Deep said.

Deep said the software upgrade would reduce unnecessary occurrences of the vehicle switching from regenerative braking to conventional hydraulic brakes.

Customers with affected vehicles will receive a notice in the mail. We are asking owners of affected vehicles to have vehicle software reprogrammed at dealers at no charge, he said.