— Ford F-150 brake pedals that go to the floors have caused a lawsuit that alleges brake fluid leaks from the master cylinders into the brake boosters due to faulty seals.
The Ford F-150 class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all consumers who purchased or leased in California model year 2013-2018 Ford F-150 trucks.
Plaintiff Roy Naasz purchased a 2015 Ford F-150 after leasing it as a new vehicle for a two-year period beginning in June 2015. Naasz says the brakes failed in September 2018 when the F-150 had about 57,000 miles on it as the pedal went to the floor. In addition, the brake light came on and the plaintiff says he had to use the emergency brake to stop the truck.
The plaintiff says he took the F-150 to a Ford dealer and technicians said there were no leaks on the brake lines or brake calipers but did find the brake booster was filled with brake fluid. Technicians removed and replaced the brake master cylinder and the brake booster, but the truck was out of the warranty period.
Even after the dealership gave the plaintiff a discount, he says he was still charged more than $1,000 for the repairs.
Mr. Naasz says he wouldn't have paid what he did for the truck, or possibly wouldn't have bought it at all, if he would have known the brakes could fail due to brake fluid entering the brake booster.
According to the class-action lawsuit, Ford recalled F-150 trucks in 2016 concerning the brakes, but the recall included only 2013-2014 trucks equipped with 3.5-liter engines. The lawsuit alleges all 2013-2018 F-150s suffer from brake defects and Ford should have recalled all the trucks.
The recall notice said the F-150 trucks could “experience a loss of brake fluid from the brake master cylinder reservoir into the brake booster,” which could result in “an audible chime, message center alert, . . . a change in brake pedal travel and feel[,] . . . longer pedal travel, increased pedal effort, and extended stopping distance, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Ford dealers were told to replace the master cylinders and if needed the brake boosters should be replaced if brake fluid leaks were found. However, the plaintiff says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Ford that safety investigators were looking into brake complaints in 2015-2016 F-150s.
NHTSA said it had received at least 48 complaints about a sudden loss of braking, yet Ford didn't expand its recall. And the plaintiff claims all Ford did for the recall was replace defective parts with the same defective parts that cause brake failures. The plaintiff says the same thing happens when dealers replace brake parts during and after the warranty periods.
The automaker has allegedly failed to provide F-150 drivers with permanent free repairs and failed to reimburse customers related to the braking systems.
The master cylinder should regulate how much brake fluid is sent to the brake calipers based on brake pedal pressure applied by the driver. Pistons in the master cylinder should respond to the brake pedal by pushing brake fluid toward the calipers and the increase in hydraulic pressure causes the pistons in the brake calipers to force the brake pads against the rotors.
None of this can happen without brake fluid traveling throughout the system, but the lawsuit alleges bad seals in the master cylinder don't prevent brake fluid from leaking into the brake booster. The loss of hydraulic pressure causes the brake pedal to go to the floorboard, an illuminated warning light and a complete loss of braking ability.
Ford F-150 owners have complained about the serious dangers and damage that can be caused by the brake problems, including one truck owner who said the F-150 “crossed the street, went up the curb, and struck my neighbor’s landscape wall, damaging it severely.” Another driver said they lost the brakes and the F-150 hit a semi-trailer.
The lawsuit alleges Ford learned about the problems in 2011 and certainly knew about the brake issues when a large number of replacement brake parts were ordered from the automaker. This leaves F-150 owners with the prospect of allegedly paying thousands of dollars to replace defective Ford brake parts with the same defective parts.
The Ford F-150 soft brake pedal lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - Roy Naasz, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.
CarComplaints.com has brake complaints about the Ford trucks: