NHTSA Opens Investigation on Ford Police Interceptor Utility Brake Failure
Hose Failures Noted in Seven Vehicles
Few vehicles have as tough of a life as police cars. Whether patrol cars or training vehicles, they driven hard and subjected to some of the most punishing conditions you could envision. It’s under these grueling conditions that Sacramento, California, police department uncovered a potential issue with the Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle. In the department’s Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC), several vehicles used for training purposes experienced brake failures during or after training exercises. The culprit was determined to be the brake hose attaching to the caliper. In seven cases, the hose assemblies showed significant leakage or were completely detached from the caliper end attachment.
The cause of the failure was determined to be excessive heat soak from heavy use of the brakes, with the vehicles then sitting stationary after hard use and without the aid of cooling that would occur if the vehicles were given an on-course “cool-down” cycle. In internal testing designed to replicate the usage scenario, Ford determined the temperatures exceeded the design limits of the hose material. The replacement hose assemblies have a longer portion of metal tubing between the hose and the caliper connection to aid heat dissipation. Ford has sent replacement brake line assemblies to Sacramento to update all of its 2014 and 2015 Interceptor Utility models, and 2016 models in production have the updated lines.