US government investigates Ford over brake fluid leaks

Washington, D.C. – September 4, 2022 – The U.S. government’s auto safety regulator is investigating Ford (NYSE:F) over Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars that may leak brake fluid. This may lead to longer stopping distances, increasing the risk of a crash and injury. 

If the investigation leads to a recall, it could affect an estimated 1.73 million vehicles, including: 

  • 2013 – 2018 Ford Fusion
  • 2013 – 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • 2013 – 2018 Lincoln MKZ 
  • 2013 – 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Investigation summary  

The regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), opened an investigation on August 8, 2022, following 50 complaints about brake fluid leaks and one crash allegedly caused by such a leak. The leaks are caused by the rupture of brake hoses, which transfer and multiply the force applied to the brake pedal to activate the brakes.

The investigation comes on the heels of an August 2020 recall that was conducted for the same issue and included the 2016-2018 Lincoln MKX and 2015-2018 Ford Edge vehicles. The goal of the investigation is to evaluate “the adequacy” of the recall and see if the Fusion and MKZ cars need to be included as well.


Complaints indicate that the front brake lines rupture without warning, causing a sudden brake fluid leak. Drivers have reported that the brake pedal became soft, accompanied by a noticeable drop in braking effect. One driver crashed the vehicle while trying to stop because of this failure.


A leaking brake line will affect the performance of the vehicle’s brakes. In addition, if left unchecked, this leak may result in a loss of brake fluid severe enough to render all brakes inoperable. Both situations increase the braking distance, upping the risk of a crash and injury.  

Other Ford and Lincoln recalls 

There was a Ford Edge recall in June this year due to the risk of these cars rolling away because of transmission issues. The recall also included Escape, Fusion and C-Max cars and was conducted for at least the fifth time in the past four years, as reported.

There was a Lincoln recall for Aviator SUVs due to the risk of electrical fire, also as reported.

Is your vehicle part of a recall?

This investigation may eventually lead to a Ford brake recall, possibly affecting over 1.7 million vehicles. To do a Ford recall check and see if your car might be a part of it, bookmark MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicUS government investigates Ford over brake fluid leaks

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