Skip to main content

Ford Looks At Recalls of 1.7M Vehicles For Brake, Windshield Wiper Problems

Ford hasn't had it easy lately. With its CEO Jim Farley calling on the automaker to improve quality and a new quality chief in place, the automaker is still encountering problems. This time with a potential recall of 1.5 million midsized Fusions and Lincolns and a potential problem with F-150 pickups for problems with wiper arms.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a recall investigation into the front brake flex hoses of midsized 2013 to 2018 Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZ sedans to look at the front brake flex hoses and whether they may rupture prematurely.

Once Pressure Is Gone Stopping Power Is Lost

A premature rupture of these small but key parts of the brake system will cause the entire system to lose pressure, affecting the ability of the midsized sedans to stop. These are not the only issues for which the automaker has initiated recalls. Recently the automaker recalled a number of older Rangers as part of the ongoing Takata airbag recall. Meanwhile, the automaker has recalled a small number of its popular Lightning pickups to repair battery issues.

According to a report from, the safety agency has received “50 reports of similar failures>> in these vehicles, including one instance where the failure caused a non-injury collision.” As the website notes, this is “enough to open an investigation to see if there is a problem with all potentially affected vehicles that would require a recall to replace faulty brake hoses.”

This is not a new problem, either. The website acknowledged that the “potential problem is an extension” of a 2020 safety issue where the flex hoses were found to have ruptured on the 2015 to 2018 Ford Edge and 2016 to 2018 Lincoln MKX SUVs. The website noted that the safety agency “found ‘consistent localized failures of the internal reinforcement braid due to cyclic fatigue during suspension and steering articulations.’” Ford has issued a recall for the affected vehicles, during which technicians have replaced both front brake hoses with new parts. The new parts have had their internal braiding material improved. During the procedure, technicians also performed a brake system bleed.

ssue Could Be Expanded To Other Vehicles

According to, the “current investigation falls outside the scope of the prior recall. If proven, the recall could result in the probe being extended to even more Ford/Lincoln vehicles. Many of the complaints” to the NHTSA say that the “brake hoses are rupturing, leaking brake fluid, and occurring with little or no warning. Leaked brake fluid can cause a soft brake pedal, increased pedal travel, or [potentially] extended braking distances.”

A Ford spokesperson said the automaker is “cooperating with NHTSA as we always do.”

Meanwhile, Senior Reporter John Goreham looks at the what it costs to charge a Ford Hybrid pickup.

The investigation of a “minor but critical part such as a flexible brake hose comes as a blow to Ford’s efforts to improve customer perceptions of quality in the brand’s product line. While it’s an issue with a purchased part on older models, it may nevertheless affect consumer attitudes about all Ford products,” the website noted.

Indeed, quality has been a preoccupation of CEO Jim Farley for some time. He commented on the cost of quality during the automaker’s May shareholder meeting, stating, at that time, that the automaker has left “$2.1 billion on the table” in quality issues.

Another Torque News reporter looks at common F-150 pickup problems.

Supplier Parts Quality An Issue noted as long ago as 2020 that “supplier parts quality has been an issue for the automaker.” According to the website, the Ford CEO has “advanced a plan in which suppliers would be charged half the cost of a warranty problem related to the parts they provided to Ford. Coming at the end of 2020, the policy was created to late to address issues on cars produced years earlier.”

At the shareholder meeting, Farley said, “’ we have to get to a zero-defect destination. We’ve made more progress on our launch quality and initial quality … However, we are unsatisfied with our quality performance, including our recalls and customer satisfaction efforts, which we need to accelerate quickly. This will require new talent, which we now have at the company.’”

The new Ford quality talent came from J.D. Power, the organization that conducts, among other things, extensive quality surveys of U.S. automakers. At the start of the year, Josh Halliburton was named executive director of quality. He was formerly a Power executive.

Farley also told the shareholders that in “the case of recalls and customer satisfaction efforts, these engineered vehicles are in the field now so it will take some time for us to return to becoming [a] benchmark in the company, which is certainly our objective.”

Ford Quality Efforts Beginning To Work notes that Ford’s quality efforts have begun to work as the Ranger midsized pickup and Lincoln Nautilus topped “their respective segments in [this year’s J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.” notes that the automaker has work to do “with archrival Chevrolet pulling top honors in six categories, plus three more for Cadillac and Buick.”

Meanwhile, in another major recall, the wiper arms on 222,454 2012 Ford F-150 pickups may break, leaving the affected vehicles without working windshield wipers. In an understated announcement, the NHTSA said that the “inoperative windshield wipers could reduce vehicle visibility, increasing the risk of a crash in certain conditions.” Put simply by the agency, the affected wiper arms may break, “causing the windshield wipers to fail.”

Consumer Information Listed

Ford will contact owners of the impacted vehicles beginning on March 27. Once the owners receive their notification letters, they can set up an inspection at their dealers, where technicians will look at the wiper arms, and if replacements are needed, the techs will replace the wiper arms for free.

For more information, owners can contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332 about either issue. Ford’s identification number on this is 23S10 on the wiper recall. This recall has the NHTSA ID of 23V163. It expands on an earlier recall, 22V250.

Owners can also contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or the agency’s website,

Meanwhile, Volkswagen scored a major surprise in the electric car racerace by unveiling what could be a Tesla for Teslas

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent many misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for most of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.