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Ford F-150 Brake Failures: Are You At Risk?


One of America’s most popular trucks, the Ford F-150, is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Office of Defects, a part of the NHTSA, is leading the investigation, having received  35 reports of “reduced brake effectiveness” from Ford F-150 truck owners.

Here’s what you need to know about the potential brake problems and what you should do.

The Problem

Ford’s F-Series trucks have been the best-selling vehicles in the United States for 34 consecutive years. The NHTSA has received 35 reports of “reduced brake effectiveness”; many drivers have reported that the brake pedals can be pushed all the way to the floor without the vehicle slowing down or responding in any way.


It’s reported that the failing brakes have caused four automobile accidents, thankfully without any injuries. Some drivers have stated that their mechanics told them the braking problem was due to brake fluid leaking from the master cylinder to the brake booster.

The Trucks Affected

The NHTSA is investigating the Ford F-150 trucks that have 3.5-Liter engines, from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Of the reports received, 31 reports were given in the past year and 20 of those were in the past 7 months; all of the trucks reported have 3.5-Liter engines. The current investigation covers about 420,000 Ford F-150 trucks.

In February 2016, Ford saw a 9.9% increase in F-Series truck sales compared to February 2015, and an overall yearly increase of 2.4%. This is important because it means that if the brake problem begins to encompass other F-Series trucks in a wider range of model years, more drivers could be at risk of brake failure.

The Office of Defects Investigation sent a letter to Ford Motor Company on Thursday, shutterstock_267660191March 3, alerting the car manufacturer of the investigation and requesting specific information due by April 20, 2016.

What if I have one of these trucks?

The Office of Defects Investigation will look at the reports and decide whether they will issue a recall of the specific trucks. If you have an F-150 that matches the description, it’s best to do the following to ensure the safety of your passengers and yourself:

  • Take your vehicle to a dealership or qualified mechanic to check the brake system
  • If there are any issues found, report it to the NHTSA immediately
  • Under certain conditions, manufacturers are required to reimburse drivers if they’ve paid for a repair before a recall because of the issue they had repaired; if you get your brake system fixed and Ford issues a recall, you may be able to receive compensation
  • Keep an eye on the mail - if an issue is found and a recall is required, manufacturers are required to notify the affected drivers by first-class mail; make sure to keep all documents received for your records



If you have any concerns, visit your dealership to determine the best actions to take. Product defects are serious and can lead to serious injuries or even death. If you’ve been injured because of a defective product, contact the Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best legal counsel in East Texas.