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Ford recalls 200,000 Mustang, Fusion and MKZ cars for brake light issue, rollaway risk

Affected cars with an automatic transmission can shift out of park without the driver pressing the brake pedal, which could lead to the cars rolling away.

2015 Ford Mustang GT
One problem is minor, the other is much more serious.
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

One Lincoln and two Ford vehicles are part of a new recall due to braking problems, according to documents the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published this week. The Ford Mustang, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ may suffer from brake light issues, and any of the cars equipped with an automatic transmission could potentially shift out of park without the driver pressing on the brake pedal. The issues affect the 2014-2015 Fusion and MKZ and the 2015 Mustang. A total of 199,085 cars are included.

The brake light problem has to do with a separated brake pedal bumper. If the defect surfaces, the brake lights will remain on at all times, as if the driver has applied the brakes. NHTSA said the confusion increases the risk of a crash. The more pressing issue involves a missing brake pedal bumper.

If the bumper goes missing in action, any of the cars in the recall equipped with an automatic transmission may shift out of park without the driver applying the brakes. Ford is not aware of any crashes or injuries involving the defects.

The recall specifically focuses on the nearly 200,000 cars originally sold or ever registered in a number of southern states. According to the automaker, high temperatures, high humidity and salt air can cause the brake pedal bumper to corrode and separate. Ford said cars ever registered in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Hawaii are the main focus.

To make sure cars won't slip out of park or continuously apply the brake lights, owners will need to take their cars to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for no-cost repairs. Ford will replace the brake bumper and the clutch bumper at the same time. The clutch bumper is not part of the recall, but Ford said the parts "are manufactured from the same material and will be replaced at the same time to avoid potential future customer satisfaction issues." Owners will see mailed notices starting March 3, but the automaker does not yet have a schedule for when it will begin making repairs.