Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.3 million Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs in the U.S. due to problems with the brake hoses.
The automaker announced the action, which covers certain 2013-18 Fusion and MKZ models, after it was determined the hoses may rupture, causing a loss of brake fluid. If that happens, drivers might see an “increase in pedal travel” as well as “a reduction in the rate of deceleration, increasing the risk of a crash,” according to the safety recall report.
In essence, it will take longer for the sedan to brake and the pedal may feel soft or spongy when the driver pushes on it. Officials also noted the fluid warning indicator light will illuminate.
At this point, there is just one crash related to the problem, according to Ford in the documents. No injuries were reported. In order to fix the problem, Ford dealers will replace the front brake hoses with those made of a braided material on the vehicles at no cost to the owner.
Dealers were notified of the problem Monday with notices going to owners the week of April 17. If owners have already had the hoses replaced, they can apply for reimbursement until Aug. 31.
Ford’s struggled with recalls in the past few years, including several large recalls in 2022. The company recalled more than 518,000 Bronco Sports and Escapes as well as about 550,000 F-150 pickups last November for two separate issues.
The compact SUVs had problems with cracked fuel injectors that were the cause of 20 engine fires. Additionally, the trucks had problems with windshield wiper motors. Faulty circuit boards can be damaged causing them to stop working.
Before that, the company recalled 2.9 million vehicles in the U.S. due to problem a bushing that attaches the shift cable to the transmission that allows the lever to change gears. The bushing may corrode or detach from the shifter preventing it from moving the transmission to its intended gear. This could cause the transmission to show the vehicle is in Park, but it’s actually not in gear, allowing the vehicle to roll away if parked on any kind of slope.
Overall, Ford recalled nearly 8.8 million vehicles in 2022, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tesla was second at 3.8 million and General Motors was next at 3.4 million. Ford’s 68 recalls accounted for 17% of all recalls last year, with Volkswagen with 47 came in at 12%, the next highest total.
The company’s recalled nearly 2 million to this point in 2023, NHTSA records show, and Nissan is second at 1.2 million. The company spent $4 billion to cover warranty costs in 2021. The numbers in 2022 were about the same. Ford CEO Jim Farley recently talked about wanting to cut $8 billion in costs, and part of that is quality issues.
“In quality, we have work to do,” Farley said during the company’s earnings call in February. “Ford has been the number one in recalls in the US for the last two years. Clearly, that’s not acceptable.”