Ford Motor Company’s Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles, model years 2007 through 2009, are being investigated by the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after 141 reports of sudden, unexpected increases in stopping distance.
The regulator said on its web site that the Office of Defects Investigation has associated three crashes with the condition and that a preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency and safety-related consequence of the alleged defect.
“The cause of the problem is believed to be the Antilock Braking System (ABS) Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU),” the NHTSA said. Some of the reports it had received suggested that when there was an “”ABS-type braking event, caused by braking on slippery surface, a rough or uneven surface, a manhole cover or similar irregularity in the roadway, that the brake pedal goes soft, frequently described as “going to the floor,” and the amount of force required by the driver to stop the car increases significantly.”
It said that in some cases the driver is unable to stop within their desired stopping distance and that complainants have reported going past the expected stopping points for stop signs or red lights, some have reported being out into the flow of traffic before being able to bring the vehicle to a stop.