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NHTSA Investigating 1.7M Ford, Lincoln Cars Over Possible Brake Defects

The issue appears similar to a problem that spurred a recall in some SUVs in 2020.

2018 Ford Fusion

In 2020, Ford and Lincoln issued a recall for a pair of SUVs for brake hoses that could rupture prematurely. Now, it appears Big Blue Oval and its luxury subsidiary may have a similar issue on its hands.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into approximately 1.7 million Ford and Lincoln vehicles -- specifically, the 2013 to 2018 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans.

The investigation comes after NHTSA received 50 complaints alleging issues with the brake system. According to the documents posted on NHTSA's website, many of the complaints mention that the car's front brake hosts are rupturing and leaking brake fluid with little or no warning. NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation also received a report of one vehicle crash resulting from a failed brake hose. Thankfully, there were no injuries in that crash.

This is just an investigation for the time being, which means NHTSA is looking into the issue to see if there is a problem that warrants a recall. Ford can issue a voluntary recall on these vehicles, but NHTSA can also compel the automaker to do so. "We are cooperating with NHTSA as we always do," wrote a Ford spokesperson in an email to CNET.

In the 2020 recall for a similar issue, it was determined that front brake hoses were failing on 2015 to 2018 Ford Edge and 2016 to 2018 Lincoln MKX SUVs. This was because suspension and steering movements caused the hoses' internal reinforcement to fail. In that recall, the remedy involved replacing the front brake hoses with an improved version, in addition to bleeding any air from the braking system.