In the aftermath of Toyota’s floor mat and braking issues in nine of its models, including top-selling Camry, Corolla and Prius, Ford has also discovered potential problems with the braking system in the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid.
Unlike the Prius, the Fusion and Milan hybrids don’t lose braking power while the driver steps on the brake pedal, bit it can feel that way.
The cars have two separate braking systems – a regenerative system that gently slows the car by reversing the spin of its electric motor, which also recharges its batteries, and conventional brakes at the wheels.
The brake pedal operates these systems electronically. But if something interferes with the electronics, it presses the conventional brakes mechanically instead. When that happens, the brake pedal can feel different – leading some drivers to think the brakes aren’t working properly.
Two authoritative automotive web sites made succinct assessments:
Consumer Reports: “The pedal travel was long and the pedal felt mushy underfoot, but when the pedal was pushed firmly down, the brakes did stop the car effectively.”
Kicking Tires: “Only one other instance was reported on the government’s Safercar.gov website. No injuries have been reported because of the problem”
Ford says it has a software fix that can correct the problem and will inform owners of the two vehicles in question via mail in early February with a “Technical Service Bulletin.”