NHTSA — Service Brakes, Hydraulic: Power Assist: Vacuum Problems

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Mercury Mountaineer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Mercury Mountaineer Owner Comments

problem #1

May 202009


  • 100,000 miles


Recently, the PCV valve in my 2002 Mercury Mountaineer had a leak (vacuum system leak). As the vehicle began to stall as a result of this leak, while traveling 55 mph, and decelerating towards a traffic light, I lost all function of my brakes. When I stepped hard on the brakes, there was no response. However, because I equated this to possibly being tied to the PCV valve, I stepped on the accelerator to increase airflow into the engine so that I would have brake function. This gave me brake function, temporarily. However, this move was very risky, as I was approaching cars in front of me and accelerating towards them instead of decelerating, just so I could slam on the brakes and have functioning brakes. There is an apparent link between the brakes and the vacuum system...which poses a deadly situation. Had I not been aware of vacuum system issues and how to mitigate them, I would have plowed into the stopped vehicle in front of me with no brakes. This occurred in the evening. I had to use this method to complete the remainder of my trip to get home, accelerating every time I needed to use brakes, because the stalling vehicle every time had no brake function. This condition put me in a very bad situation, as I also had my 5 year old in the car with me. This system should be recalled as it is unsafe. Replacing the PCV valve corrected the problem. There is also no notice in the operating manual for this vehicle about this vacuum system problem, especially since the operating manual that came with this car is for a prototype software system, and doesn't even match my vehicle. I have complained to Mercury/Ford about this incorrect manual, but they did not offer to send me a new one, and simply took the information and didn't even respond to my concerns.

- Manassas, VA, USA

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