That Ford car braking in southern states might not be braking at all. An issue with the brake pedal has prompted Ford to recall nearly 200,000 cars from the 2014-2015 model years, but only in select states, the NHTSA disclosed Monday.
The brake pedal bumper stop in affected cars can disintegrate over time in southern coastal states and Hawaii, leading to the bumper to separate from the brake pedal. In the case of cars with automatic transmissions, the driver can shift the car into gear without pressing the brake pedal. The NHTSA says this can increase the risk of the vehicle rolling away unintentionally. In all cases, the compromised brake pedal bump stop can illuminate the brake lights continuously, whether the driver is pressing the brake or not.
The issue affects the 2014-2015 Ford Fusion mid-size sedan, 2015 Lincoln MKZ sedan, and 2015 Ford Mustang pony car. Ford found the issue occurs only in environments with high temperatures, high humidity, and areas near salt water, so for now the recalled cars are limited to registrations in Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
The Takata airbag fiasco started with similar focus on regions with high humidity. It grew to become the largest in automotive history, encompassing more than 67 million vehicles from the 2001-2019 model years and from nearly all major automakers.
Ford's brake pedal bump issue won't grow to such proportion, but it could expand to include cars beyond those regions as Ford works to finalize the remedy.
Owners will be notified as early as March 3 and Ford dealers will install new pedal bumpers at no cost to owners; reimbursement will be provided to owners who have had the service completed. Owners can contact Ford's customer service at 1-866-436-7332 or visit Ford's recall site.