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Report: Ford issues TSB fix for brake pedal on Fusion/Milan Hybrid models [w/video]

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Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Videos, Ford, Mercury

cr-fusion-hybrid-brakes.jpg
Consumer Reports explains Ford Fusion Hybrid braking issue - Click above to watch the video after the break

It would seem that Toyota isn't the only automaker with braking issues on its hybrid vehicles, as Ford has reportedly issued a technical service bulletin (or "Customer Satisfaction Program" in Ford-ese) outlining a software update for its 2010 Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid sedans. The problem was experienced and reported by Consumer Reports a little while back; here's their explanation of what happened:
As one of our senior engineers slowed for a stop sign at the turnoff to our test facility in East Haddam, Connecticut, the brake pedal went unexpectedly further down than normal but the car barely slowed. He zoomed through the turn, with brake-system warning lights illuminated on the dash. The car more or less coasted to a stop, with what our engineer described as minimal brake feel.


After switching off the engine and then restarting it, everything returned to normal - no warning lights and full braking capability.

That doesn't sound very good, eh? As it turns out, Ford was aware of the potential problem. Sayeth the Blue Oval: "The software threshold to transition from regenerative brakes to conventional brakes can cause the system to transition to conventional brakes unnecessarily." Fortunately, Ford claims that while drivers "may initially perceive the condition as loss of brakes... the vehicle has full braking capability. When this occurs, our system maintains full conventional brakes and full ABS function."

In an effort to resolve the issue in a timely manner, Ford has initiated a repair program and will notify all known owners by mail starting in early February 2010. Anyone who owns a Fusion or Milan Hybrid made on or before October 17, 2009 can see their dealer regarding Ford's "Customer Satisfaction Program 10B13." Click past the break for a video explaining the issue and the official statement from Ford regarding the solution.

[sources: Consumer Reports, Ford]

Continue reading Report: Ford issues TSB fix for brake pedal on Fusion/Milan Hybrid models [w/video]

Report: Ford issues TSB fix for brake pedal on Fusion/Milan Hybrid models [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Feb 2010 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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See the difference hear between this and the Prius problems is apparently in Ford's case the brakes are still actually working. That and Ford has a fix and will be notifying customers, whereas Toyota knows about the problem and has a fix but is still d*cking around wonder how to notify their customers. Um...gee I dunno...maybe the same way you notify them with any other recall? I guess in Toyota's case that normally means not at all.

Looks like Toyota won't bother to send out a TSB or recall until NHTSA forces them too.

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Ford will fix software in Fusion, Milan hybrids

Shawn Wright

Automotive News -- February 4, 2010 - 4:52 pm ET

DETROIT -- While not labeling it a recall, Ford Motor Co. said today that it will update the software of the regenerative braking system on some already-delivered 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrids and Mercury Milan Hybrids.

A Ford spokesman said a total of 17,600 Fusion and Milan hybrids will be updated.

Ford calls the update a “customer satisfaction program” and will notify owners by mail.

“We have received reports that some drivers have experienced a different brake feel when the hybrid's unique regenerative brakes switch to conventional hydraulic braking,” Ford said in a statement. “While the vehicles maintain full braking capability, customers may initially perceive the condition as loss of brakes.”

Ford's announcement comes on the same day that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a formal investigation of the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid to determine whether 37,000 of those vehicles suffer momentary loss of braking capabilities. Toyota said its fix involves reprogramming the car's software.

Ford said its affected vehicles will have the software reprogrammed by dealers at no charge to the customer.

The Fusion Hybrid's regenerative braking system reclaims kinetic energy by having electric motors use braking force to regenerate electricity. Ford says the 2010 Fusion Hybrid returns to the battery 94 percent of energy that otherwise would be lost to heat and friction.

Ford sold 15,559 Fusion Hybrids last year. The sedan was named the 2010 Car of the Year during last month's Detroit auto show, beating out the Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf.

It was just the second time a Ford car has taken the award. It was also the second time a Ford hybrid took the award. The Ford Escape Hybrid crossover won the 2005 Truck of the Year. The Focus won in 2000.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100204/OEM/100209931/1186#ixzz0ecEQKWhq

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