As Ford announces one F-150 recall, a much larger one could be on the horizon

Updated Mar 18, 2016


The U.S. government is investigating 2013 (seen above) and 2014 F-150s after receiving numerous reports of brake failure.The U.S. government is investigating 2013 (seen above) and 2014 F-150s after receiving numerous reports of brake failure.

Ford recently announced a recall of certain model year F-150 pickups over an air bag deployment defect. But the U.S. government is investigating another much larger possible recall over the truck’s brake system.

The automaker has recalled 3,683 2016 F-150s equipped with Multi-Contour Seats (MCS) manufactured between April 27, 2015 and Nov. 22, 2015. Ford says the Occupant Classification System (OCS), which calibrates air bag deployment levels, could incorrectly classify an adult as a child if the seat’s massage feature is activated.

Should an adult be identified by the system as a child, the air bag would not deploy in the event of a crash. Ford says it will notify owners to bring their truck in to a Ford dealership where a software update to the OCS will be performed free of charge.  Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 16S05.

Meanwhile, 420,000 2013 and 2014 model year F-150s, are under investigation for brake failures by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after receiving numerous complaints from owners.

The NHTSA announced that it had received 33 complaints alleging brake failures, all pertaining to 2013-2014 F-150s equipped with 3.5-liter engines. The agency also received four reports of crashes caused by the issue though no injuries have been reported. The majority of the complaints were received in the last 12 months.

“The complaints allege symptoms of brake pedal going to the floor with complete loss of brake effectiveness, brake warning lamp illumination, and/or low or empty master cylinder reservoir fluid level with no visible leakage,” according to the NHTSA document. “Several complaints allege repair facilities diagnosed the problem as brake fluid leaking from the master cylinder to the brake booster.”

In addition to recalling what would amount to 36 percent of the company’s total 2013-2014 F-150 sales, Ford could also face a fine up to “$35 million if it fails to comply with NHTSA’s request for documents on the brake problems,” according to a report from The Detroit News.