The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into brake failures on model-year 2013-14 Ford F-150s equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. This potential recall action affects 420,000 pickups, which make up 36 percent of the total number of F-150s sold in those years.
In its investigation letter to Ford, NHTSA says that the complaints "allege symptoms of brake pedal going to the floor with complete loss of brake effectiveness, brake warning lamp illumination, and/or low or empty master cylinder reservoir fluid level with no visible leakage."
The number of complaints to NHTSA on this issue has accelerated in recent months. During the past 12 months, NHTSA received 31 complaints with 20 of them coming in the last seven months. There have been no reported injuries from the alleged issue, though four drivers have pointed to the brake problem as a reason for crashes.
The problem appears to be brake fluid leaking from the master cylinder into the brake booster, which causes the brakes to fail, but an exact cause has not yet been determined.
Ford's response to NHTSA reads: "We take the safety of our customers very seriously, and we will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do."
See the NHTSA letter to Ford here; check back with PickupTrucks.com for more on this issue as it unfolds.