A total of 114,996 vehicles, mostly 2021 models with a few 2022s, will be recalled starting in early January.
Ford said it has not heard of any related accidents or injuries to date.
Ford will recall almost 115,000 2021 and 2022 model Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs because of a potential reduction in the vehicles' power brake performance related to the rear brake lining. Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by this issue.
NHTSA has identified the cause as the friction coefficient of the rear brake-caliper linings being below specification. A NHTSA chronology explains that the agency conducted a stopping-distance test compliance audit on the 2021 Bronco Sport. It found that it took almost 192 meters (630 feet) to stop when the brake power assist unit was inoperative, compared with the federally regulated distance of 168 meters (551 feet). Ford told NHTSA that its internal certification tests from December 2018 resulted in a stopping distance of just under 150 meters (492 feet). When Ford re-tested a vehicle under the same circumstances, itfound that it took almost 178 meters (584 feet) to stop.
"During certain situations, the driver may have to apply more brake pedal force, and the distance required to stop the vehicle may be extended, increasing the risk of a crash," NHTSA said in a letter to Ford.
The 2021–2022 Escape uses the same brake system as the Bronco Sport, so the NHTSA compliance test also relates to that vehicle. The reason not all 2021 and 2022 Bronco Sports and Escapes are being recalled is that this problem only affects vehicles built without a vacuum sensor in the brake vacuum booster. On vehicles that have a vacuum sensor, the brake system is able to detect a booster malfunction and the ABS module can compensate for the out-of-spec friction. Any Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs equipped with an electronic brake booster "are not affected by this issue because they have higher system pressures if the booster malfunctions," NHTSA said.
The potentially faulty brakes were installed on 2021 and 2022 Bronco Sport SUVs between January 27 and November 11, 2021, while the affected Escapes were built between December 14, 2020, and October 26, 2021. Ford said it is still confirming the total number of affected vehicles, which currently stands at 114,996 in the U.S. That number includes 65,429 of the 2021 Bronco Sport and 12 2022 models, as well as 49,553 2021 Escapes and two from 2022. The brake linings were supplied by Continental's unit in Mexico, Continental Automotive Mexicana, according to Automotive News.
Ford hasn't shipped any Bronco Sports or Escapes from either its Hermosillo or Louisville assembly plants since November 9. The automaker will start notifying customers January 10 to bring in their vehicles for a fix. In the meantime, Bronco Sport and Escape owners can check the NHTSA recalls website to see if their vehicle is involved.
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