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Ford Escape Hybrid Brake Problems

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  • Hello All,

    I have been reading alot about the Ford Escape Hybrid and have had some issues with the brakes of my vehicle...

    I work for a local organization and we have quite a few of the SUVs in our Fleet... Recently due to a number of complaints they pulled the WHOLE Fleet of the Ford Escape Hybrids off the road due to Brake Failures... mine being one of them. It turns out that in a fleet of hybrids over 30, at least 7 of the vehicles had some sort of failure... a couple of which were 2nd or 3rd time issues. and a few resulted in accidents...

    Ford has reviewed all of the vehicles in the fleet and will be issuing a letter saying its safe to drive. They say that they have found "No Codes" showing any kind of failure in the braking system... but Im not an idiot! I know that when my foot goes to the floor to stop, the truck should stop... which it didn't! I have had to make many panic stops in the truck previously and never had a problem before... until recently... the brakes did return a few hundread meters down the road at a stop light... but no lights showed on the dash and no abs kicked in... Thank god the person in front of me moved before I hit them.

    My vehicle is my office for atleast 8Hrs a day and I put on it, anywhere from 100 to 250 Km a day at work and the majority is City Driving.

    Please tell me that I am not an idiot... or that this is not an isolated incident or if you know what the problem is... or if you have had this happen to you.

    Thanks in advance for your help and comments...
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    My local County Park Service owns a 2006 FEH as part of their vehicle fleet. They are frustrated because they have had to send it back to the dealer a few times for braking issues. I get the feeling that the dealership and Ford are not sensitive to "bad press" that this can cause - because they never seem to fix the problem.

    Braking "by-wire" is a relatively new concept for mass produced cars. My guess in that the Technicians are not as adept at finding these electical and computer software issues (especially when diagnostic codes are not forthcoming). [The design of the mechanical portions of the brake system seem to be fine.] From reports of previous FEH brake problems, I suspect the component known as the "Smart Junction Box". Not a trivial part that Ford would replace unless it was proven to be "bad".

    To address your question: You are not an idiot for wanting confidence in your braking system. Unfortunately, having someone commute in the vehicle (who understands the "brake-by-wire" system) my be what it takes to get to the root cause of the problem. Have the dealer monitor TSBs that are issued by Ford for ones related to FEH brakes. Be safe. :D
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    The issue I have is the "Service Brake System" message displays, and the ! Brake Light comes on. I've had it into Ford 3 times, and they tell me there's no codes in the system, the brakes are fine, they have no idea what the problem is. I took a picture of the dashboard to prove it to them that this was happening. They said they contacted Ford Engineering about this, but that was 4 months ago and I haven't heard anything back.

    I have not had break failure (yet) but am worried that this is the next thing that will happen. Did you have this problem prior to brake failure?

    A previous post said that his dealer in MA fixed this problem by bleeding the brakes (100%). The dealer I brought it to bled the brakes but not 100% (they said they couldn't do that) and wouldn't call the other Ford dealer to discuss how they fixed it.

    My next step is Ford customer service, file a complaint and take it from there. I don't suspect any help there however. Don't know what else to do.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Yes - I would start contacting as many Ford customer services contacts as you can find. ("District", "Region", "Corporate" - however they are organized)

    There may be some room for confusion on the discussion of bleeding the brakes. Are we clear on what the dealer in MA did? Did they: remove and replace 100% of the brake fluid? or, did they bleed the brakes to remove 100% of any air trapped in the brake lines and components? or, both?
  • testestestes Posts: 13
    The problem I had with my Mercury's brakes was a two step repair. I took it in a few times, and the the light would turn off. With the light off, there are not codes to read. I finally had an opportunity to take it in while the light was on, a an error message was found. The first problem was jumper harness (see parts list below) that had to be replaced along with the master cylinder. Here are the notes from my service invoice:

    Could not verify concern, self test ABS module Codes C1524, C1323. Perform Pinpoint test told to replace ABS module. Sock and Check Oasis and call the hot line, told about the Jumper Harness to install. And to try that first. Day two install the jumper harness. Clear all codes and Road test Ok at this time Hot line ID 6ECEN007.

    The parts used to repair the vehicle are listed below:

    2219D11 Solenoid Valve Block / HCU - remove and install or replace (2C065/2C215/2C219/2c266/2C286) _ L 26 W

    1 7M6Z*2c286*A control Asy - ABS Hydraulics
    24 PM*1*C Fluid - brake
    1 5M6Z*2140*B Cylinder Asy - Master
    2219D Anti-lock brake system Diagnosis - l 26 w

    After they replaced all these parts, I had to take it back in for, due to the brake light coming back on. This second step of the repair is when they bled the brakes... after they replaced the ABS Hydraulics. That is when the brakes had to be bled 100%. They had done a good job of bleeding, if you were only doing hydraulic work. However, with the regenerative portion of the brakes in the system, they bled them a little more. This is how it was explained to me. I have not had any additional problems with this particular issue. Hope this helps.
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    This is great information. However, the dealer I take my care to tells me they can't do this work unless the directive comes from Ford engineering. They say they're not allowed to call this other dealer. I don't understand why Ford doesn't have this information since it's been a known problem for 2 years. I'm frustrated. Been trying to contact Ford but not getting any response yet.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    "Ford engineering" and the "Hot line" mentioned in the service description are the same thing. Your dealer is allowed to call the Hot line and reference the earlier (Hot line ID #) resolution if they feel they have a similar diagnosis. :D
  • rearend2rearend2 Posts: 1
    Hi All, This Braking Problem is VERY FUSTRATING!!! :mad:

    I have one of the fleet vehicles :lemon: that is listed above... we have had a meeting with FORD and durring the meeting all Ford could say is how great the braking system for the hybrid is and how everything is run by the computer and how if there is a problem there must be a code!

    However when we asked about what is going on with our vehicles and why there have been 5 reported incidents of no brakes durring a pannic stop... their answer was that since there is no codes there can't be a problem... no codes no problems...

    When we told them about all the reported incidents discribed here on the net... all they can say is that you can't believe what you read on the internet.. and that this is the first they have ever heard of this type of problem... seems hard to believe (13% of the FEH in the fleet have had an incident) and there is no problem :surprise: ...

    SO, according to Ford, none of you people exist that have had similar brake problems! I guess that 6 pages of comments must not exist either! :confuse: It also must mean that no one is reporting these problems to Ford... what is the protocol that a dealer must follow then?

    Im VERY FRUSTRATED!
  • richdeanrichdean Posts: 2
    My 2007 Escape Hybrid 2WD is at Maxwell Ford in Austin right now for a similar problem to what is reported earlier in this thread. The rear brakes partially lock on whenever it is wet out and I've set the e-brake. You can clearly hear the metal-on-metal sound for several miles before it stops.

    Of course the problem stops by the time I get it to the dealer since they're 5 miles away. The SA @ Maxwell says they can't fix problems they can't hear. Since they started with the attitude of "there is no problem," I have little confidence in them at this point.
  • richdeanrichdean Posts: 2
    Well Maxwell Ford has refused to fix the problem with my brakes. They say that because the computer doesn't show a problem, there is no problem. They also claim that the problem is that "you are driving around with the parking brake on."

    Right. Every few days I ignore the "your brake is on" idiot warnings the car gives off.

    The SA was also exceedingly condescending to my Ivy League educated wife (the SA told me, "oh, sweetie, she's trying as hard as she can, but the poor thing can't describe problems very well"). Never mind that my wife helps me fix our vintage cars. :-\

    Don't ever go to Maxwell Ford in Austin.
  • keleeykeleey Posts: 2
    Hey everyone. I'm new to all this.. I have a 2006 FEH that I bought back in Dec. 2005. Since then I have had not 1 but 2 COMPLETE brake failures. By the grace of God I did not get into a car accident either time.. The first time they replaced the wiring harness then 7 months later it happened again. This time they replaced the ACU unit. I have filed a complaint with NHTSA, Ford and the dealership. I am requesting a but back on the are b/c I am scared to death to ever drive it again. Ford had told me they will not buy back the car. Has anyone had this problem? Gone through the steps for a buy back? Any advice I would really appreciate it. I can't get behind the wheel of that car again and I don't know where to go from here? Thanks
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    after a few months of going back and forth (4 times), and with help from ford customer service, i got ford to service the vehicle for the emergency brake light coming on and the service brakes message coming on. they did the following, apparantly according to ford engineering instructions :

    removed ground 102 and 104, clean brackets, bolts, and body, replace both ground wires. removed and cleaned brackets, bolts and body for grounds 102 and 104. removed the abs module connector and removed and replaced the ground 102 and 104 wires. installed all removed parts and cleared codes and retested.

    funny thing is, they said there were no codes and could not verify that there was a problem, even though i gave them a picture i took of the dashboard with the problem showing.

    anyway, since 3/20, the lights have not come on again, but i can't help but be nervous everytime i apply the brakes. before i have to stop, i always pump the brakes to make sure they work.

    :surprise:
  • keleeykeleey Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply.. When mine was serviced(which it's at the dealer now) there were codes that showed up. And they say they have it fixed this time. Well that's what they told me last time. I know how you feel about being nervous. That is why I am refusing to take the car back. I can't take the chance that this will happen again. I may not be as lucky as I was the 2 times it has happened. I am not going to endanger my life or anyone else. Have you tried to get a buy back? Just wondering. Thanks
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    i haven't had the problem with brake failure, and geez i hope i don't. i don't know if it's the same issue or not. but i worry that it's going to happen.

    i don't imagine they would buy the car back. ford is in trouble. maybe the ceo would, since he's been paid an $18M bonus and Ford lost $12B last year.
  • marie12marie12 Posts: 2
    I am so pleased that I found this discussion board and so sorry to hear you all have the same problem I do. I too have experienced brake failure in my SUV four times now. I have a 2006 with 37,000 miles. (do alot of driving) I am scheduled to take the car to Ford Dealer on Monday and am planning to bring in all these comments. I do wish we could be heard by Ford somehow. There should be a recall.
  • marie12marie12 Posts: 2
    This is a web site I just posted a comment on and explained the braking problems. It lists several recalls for the Ford escape just not for the brakes yet. If enough postings are made to this site, maybe someone will hear us. Worth a try..
  • simmisimmi Posts: 2
    I bought my Ford Escape 2008 Hybrid only 3 weeks ago. Saturday I planned a trip with my boyfriend and my dog and suddently while driving, the brake and ABS light came on and there was hardly any brake in existence. Luckily I had no accident but we had to get towed to the dealership. My whole weekend was messed up.

    My car was supposed to be ready on Monday but they said that the part (mastercylinder) was not there yet. I called today on Tuesday and it still is not there. How disapointing.
  • Here's another FEH brake failure story. Sounds like we have all been very lucky. I was only going about 20-25 miles an hour when I lost mine completely. Both the ABS and the brake light came on. I was able to get the car off the road and stopped with the emergency brake. I shut the engine off and when I turned it back on again I had brakes. I am working about 80 miles away from home so I took it to the closest dealer. They have had it 3 days now. They have only told me so far that the computer said it was a "main switch" for the brakes. The car has a little over 15,000 miles on it and this is the first trouble I have had except for an annoying brake grabbing every time it rains or there is heavy dew in the morning! Of course the dealer has always told me there is nothing wrong with the brakes and never writes it on the receipt. From what I am reading here, though, I have a sick feeling they might be related. I haven't decided what I am going to do yet - I live in PA and we have a Lemon Law so I will probably go through the Better Business Bureau. I have no confidence in this vehicle now because it doesn't seem that Ford has a handle on it. Has anyone had a resolution?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Sorry to hear about your brakes going out completely. From the posts I have read, it appears that many of the brake failure problems are solved by replacing the master cylinder.

    The "grabbiness" is probably not related to the failure...it is inherent to the hybrid design. In slightly wet conditions the brake surfaces stay wet until the FEH is close to stopping. At that point the computer switches the braking from the regenerative system (MG1) to the old fashion hydraulic brakes...and the brake force increases until it feels like it grabs too hard. In non-hybrids, the offending moisture on the brake surfaces is dissappated during the heavy portions of initial braking and are practically dry at the point just before the vehicle stops (where, on the hybrid, you should be feeling the "grabbiness")

    A good solution on wet days is to perform all of your first few stops with the transmission selector in "N"-neutral. This shuts off the regen braking and forces regular hydraulic braking...which should dry off the braking surfaces. Stops after that should not be grabby. If it occurs again, hard braking or braking in "N" drys off the braking surfaces again.

    Good luck and be safe. :D
  • Thanks for the info - I'll try that. They replaced the solenoid valve on my car but could not/would not guarantee the problem is fixed. However I did notice this morning (I just got it back from the shop) that the brakes did not grab like they usually do. I have no confidence in this car. I don't feel that these SUVs are getting repaired and I get the feeling Ford is sticking their heads in the sand. Can you say PINTO! There are at least 4 complaints filed on NHTS - Office of Defects Investigation (safercar.gov)but unfortunately there evidently aren't enough complaints yet (or no one's gotten killed yet!)as nothing is being done.
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