Most of us take the brakes of our cars for granted. We hardly give them any thought. We do not consider the highly dangerous situation that could arise if our brakes failed, and a car accident resulted.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening for many owners of Ford F-150 pickup trucks, according to a report released in February by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The NHTSA report reveals that the agency has received 33 consumer complaints about brake failure in the trucks, including four that involved crashes. The problem may extend to as many as 420,000 trucks, the report indicates.
As of right now, no one has been injured or killed due to the defect, but property damage has been reported to the NHTSA.
The specific model involved is the Ford F-150 pickup with a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine, which was manufactured in 2013 and 2014.
As the New York Times reports, consumers have complained of the brake pedal going to the floor “with complete loss of brake effectiveness.”
Consumers who have sought repairs report that some auto shops have diagnosed the problem as leakage of brake fluid into the brake booster from the master cylinder, according to the newspaper.
When the NHTSA receives numerous consumer complaints about the same issue, its job is to open an investigation into the issue and, if necessary, issue a recall of the affected vehicle model.
However, despite the high volume of complaints the agency has received about the F-150 truck, combined with the fact that 20 of those complaints were filed within the past seven months, the NHTSA has not yet issued a recall of the trucks.
“I am surprised that no action has been taken on this issue yet – the complete failure of the most important safety system of a 2.5-ton plus vehicle,” one driver who experienced the problem first hand told CNBC.
If a Ford F-150 pickup truck recall is issued, all owners of recalled vehicles would be notified by mail. Without a recall, it can be difficult to know whether your own vehicle is affected.
If you are the owner of a Ford F-150 that meets the criteria listed above, it is within your best interest to have your truck looked at by a professional automotive mechanic. As soon as a recall is issued – if one is issued – you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for having your vehicle repaired.
The idea of a vehicle or vehicle part failing and putting its operator in danger is not a foreign one. In 2014 alone, more than 64 million vehicles were recalled. (Go to Edmunds.com to read about the “year of recalls.” The recalls included defective Takata airbags, which sent shrapnel flying through cars’ cabins, and defective GM ignition devices, which caused cars to unexpectedly turn off.)
The manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle part has a duty to report any complaints to the NHTSA. Either the manufacturer or the NHTSA will issue a recall if the vehicles are found to be dangerous.
From there, consumers have the right to – and should – seek repairs for their vehicles free of charge. This is standard recall procedure.
The issue of defective brakes in Ford F-150 pickup trucks should be no different.
Manufacturers of all types – automakers alike – have a duty to create products that are safe for consumer use and free of defects that could present danger.
If the defective braking systems found in Ford F-150 pickup trucks lead to an accident that causes an injury, the victim could potentially have a cause of action against Ford Motor Company.
By filing a lawsuit that alleges that Ford acted negligently in its failure to create an effective braking system, and its failure to act faster to recall the vehicles, an injured person may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional anguish, physical pain and more.
Most accidents that occur in Chicago are caused by drivers who operate their vehicles carelessly. However, sometimes, crashes happen due to factors beyond a driver’s control such as the failure of brakes.
Brake failure can be very scary if you are the one behind the wheel, or a passenger in a vehicle when the brakes go out. If this happens to you, and you are in an accident that results in injuries that would not have occurred but for the vehicle defect, you would have a right to seek compensation for your injuries.
To file your claim and pursue compensation after a defective auto part causes you an injury, you need an experienced defective automobile attorney on your side.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we can help you to understand your legal rights, the process of filing a defective vehicle or vehicle part claim and the ways in which manufacturers can be held liable for the damages you suffer.
To receive a free case consultation with our Chicago car accident lawyers, contact our offices today by calling us directly or using our online form.