NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2009 Lincoln MKZ

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2009 Lincoln MKZ, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Extended Braking Distance

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA18002

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: April 18, 2018
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Air:Antilock:Control Unit/Module

    Summary: On December 20, 2016, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened Preliminary Evaluation (PE) 16-017 to investigate reports of braking concerns in model year 2007 through 2009 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles.Complainants report that after an ABS braking event (caused by braking on a slippery or uneven surface) the brake pedal moved towards the floor and the distance in which the vehicle stopped increased beyond what was expected by the driver.The cause of the problem appears to be the Antilock Braking System (ABS) Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU), a component manufactured for Ford by Continental Automotive Systems.Hydraulic control valves within the HCU can experience corrosion and become stuck.In some cases, braking returns to normal when the valve(s) subsequently become unstuck.The intermittent condition proves difficult to diagnose and complainants report having several brake system components replaced only to have the condition return.ODI has identified 544 reports submitted to the agency that relate to this issue in model year 2006-2012 Ford Fusion/MKZ and MY 2006-2011 Mercury Milan, the subject vehicles.Complainants report an increase in pedal travel which in some cases resulted in going past expected stopping points or having to steer to avoid contacting another vehicle; twenty six report a crash with 3 injuries alleged.The Ford reports shown above, which are from PE16-017 and involved the scope discussed above, were similar in content and identified 7 crashes without injury.During PE16-017, ODI was able to recover HCUs from some complaint vehicles, including some from the reported crashes.The recovered HCUs were sent to NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) in East Liberty, Ohio for evaluation.VRTC was able to confirm stuck valves and corrosion of the zinc coated control valves, and it's testing indicates that HCU failures cause increases in pedal travel that may affect braking distance.According to Ford, newer version HCUs have a different coating on the affected valves that do not currently appear to be experiencing corrosion.In it's response to ODI's information request letter, Ford described analysis of two failed HCUs removed from complainant vehicles.In both cases, a gelatinous material found inside the HCU prevented control valves from properly returning to the closed position after actuation.Ford found that an interaction between the valve coating and brake fluid was the likely source of the gelatinous material.It acknowledged that stuck valves can result in increased pedal travel but maintains the affected brake circuit will develop pressure and respond if the brake pedal is pressed sufficiently.While it has not identified an unreasonable risk to safety due to this issue, Ford states that it continues to investigate the possible causal and contributory factors including additional engineering evaluations and testing.An Engineering Analysis has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequence of the alleged defect.Based on information received during PE16-017, the scope of the investigation has been increased to include another model, the Lincoln MKZ, and to expand the model years of the subject vehicles.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Floor mat interference with accelerator

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA12009

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: On May 27, 2014, Ford Motor Company submitted recall 14E-028 (Ford recall #14S07) to correct a safety-related problem with certain driver's side Ford optional all-weather floor mats sold for use in model year 2006 through 2011 model year Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr, and Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant (HAP) from November 9, 2007, to October 31,2010.NHTSA testing determined that the original accessory all-weather mat with a single retention clip (Figure 1), may interfere with accelerator pedal return to idle with the mat retained by the clip and rotated clockwise.Both the single- and double-clip (Figure 2) all-weather floor mats may interfere with the accelerator pedal return to idle when the mats are not secured by the retention clip(s).Testing showed that this can occur if the mats are moved forward from the clipped position approximately two inches into a position in which the rear edge of the mats will abut the retention clip(s) when installed singly and align with the clip(s) when stacked on another floor mat.The pedal interference incidents reviewed by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) include 1 crash and 9 incidents with allegations of brake friction materials smoking and/or requiring repair for heat related damage.The crash incident occurred after the parking brake was applied at speed, resulting in loss-of-control vehicle yaw event caused by lock-up of the rear tires.The spin-out resulted in a side impact collision with an oncoming vehicle in an opposing lane of traffic. For the 29 incidents with sufficient information available to make an assessment; 23 (79%) were controlled by the driver either shifting to neutral, turning the engine off, or both; 4 (14%) were ended by the driver either kicking the pedal free (2) or pulling the mat away from the pedal (2); and 2 (7%) were ended by the pedal freeing itself from the mat with no apparent driver action.None of the drivers who reacted to the incident by shifting to neutral or turning the engine off reported any difficulties with either action.The subject mats were sold by Ford and Lincoln dealers directly to customers as an optional accessory equipment item or, beginning in November 2007, the mats were also available as a factory installed accessory if ordered with a new vehicle.Ford estimates that approximately 82,579 affected driver's side all weather floor mats were sold worldwide; either over the counter through Ford dealerships or as original equipment.Owners that purchased the subject all-weather floor mats as a factory installed accessory with their new vehicle will be notified to return their all weather floor mats to their Ford or Lincoln Dealership in exchange for replacement mats.Owners of all other potentially affected vehicles will be notified that, if they have an affected Ford driver's side all weather floor mat, they should return their mats to the dealership in exchange for replacement mats.The VOQs associated with the closing of this investigation are: 10327597, 10332233, 10334211, 10335336, 10339330, 10348772 (and duplicate 10342572), 10372674, 10379562, 10415911, 10426255, 10434107, 10521053, 10554966.This investigation is hereby closed.

  3. INVESTIGATION: Accel Pedal Interference - Acc Floormat

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE10019

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: May 28, 2010
    • Date Closed: January 11, 2013
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: Unsecured mats may interfere with accelerator pedal return to idle. A heel blocker in the floor pan provides a platform that may lift an unsecured mat into contact with the pedal. Ford introduced new pedals as a running change early in model year (MY) 2010 vehicles. Analysis of complaints received by ODI and Ford show elevated rates of pedal entrapment incidents in MY 2008 through early 2010 production vehicles. Incidents typically occur following hard pedal applications to pass slower traffic or when merging into faster traffic. Drivers allege continued high engine power after releasing the accelerator pedal and difficulty braking, including reports that the incident was controlled by shifting to neutral or turning the engine off. Drivers and service technicians reference observing evidence of mat interference or note unsecured Ford or aftermarket all weather floor mats in post-incident inspections.Based on information gathered during the Preliminary Evaluation the population being investigated has been narrowed to model years 2008 to 2010.This investigation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis on MY 2008 through early-2010 vehicles (produced through September 2009) to further assess the scope, frequency and safety consequences of the alleged defect.The VOQs associated with the opening of this Engineering Analysis are: 10479693, 10415911, 10379562, 10372674, 10345830, 10342572, 10339330, 10335336, 10334211, 10332233, 10331160, 10329659, 10327597, 10320011, 10232027, 10214131

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