Federal safety regulators have opened an investigation into 250,000 large Ford trucks after receiving 32 consumer complaints about brake failures.
According to a report in Consumerist, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into model year 2011 and 2012 F-150 pickup trucks for potential brake failure.
A majority of complaints allege that the electric vacuum assist pumps can fail causing a loss of power brakes and increasing braking effort by drivers.
Owners of the vehicles say they got no warning before the brake failure happened. The complaints include two incidents of crashes, but no injuries.
NHTSA officials also stated that the consumer complaints over this issue have increased in recent months, with about 60 percent of those currently on file being reported in the last nine months.
A spokesperson for Ford has said that the automaker is cooperating with federal investigators.
If customers experience any issues with these vehicles, they are urged to contact their Ford dealer. The federal probe is expected to look into the cause of the problem and determine whether a recall is necessary.
Understanding the Process
When NHTSA launches an auto defect probe, it is only the beginning of a potentially lengthy process.
As part of this process, agency technical experts review each and every consumer call, letter and online report of an alleged safety issue filed with the agency.
Although NHTSA does not have jurisdiction over defects that are not safety-related, it does review each report that suggests a potential safety defect involving groups of vehicles or equipment.
NHTSA’s investigative process consists of four parts:
- Screening: This involves a preliminary review of consumer complaints and other information related to alleged defects to decide whether to open an investigation.
- Analysis: An evaluation of petitions calling for defect probes and/or reviews of safety-related recalls.
- Investigation: A probe into the alleged safety defects.
- Management: Investigation of whether safety recalls would be effective.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Your vehicle need not have to be recalled for you to file an auto product liability claim. In fact, a number of defective vehicles or vehicles with defective equipment are still on our roadways.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto or faulty vehicle equipment, it is critical that you preserve the vehicle in its current condition, unaltered, so an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions, design flaws and other evidence.
An experienced auto product liability attorney can help evaluate your case and assist you in securing fair and full compensation for all your injuries and damages caused by the defective vehicle or part.