The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2012 Ford F-150, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Reduced power during hard acceleration NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13018

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 22, 2013
    • Date Closed: April 07, 2014
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Engine
    Engine And Engine Cooling

    Summary: On May 22, 2013, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE13-018 to investigate 95 complaints alleging incidents of reduced engine power during hard accelerations in model year (MY) 2011 through 2013 Ford F-150 trucks.ODI was aware of three technical service bulletins (TSBs) issued by Ford for a condition that was related to moisture accumulation in the Charge Air Cooler (CAC) for the turbochargers.A Preliminary Evaluation was opened to gather information to assess whether the subject vehicles contain a safety related defect.The subject vehicles are powered by Ford-s 3.5L EcoBoost engine which uses twin turbochargers to obtain a balance of fuel economy and engine power based on the driver-s demand.When the driver requests more power from the engine, as in accelerating to pass, merge, ascend hills or haul a load the two turbochargers will spin up compressing the air which is then used to increase the power created by the combustion in the engine.The compressed air, which gains heat by the compression process, is passed through a Charge Air Cooler (CAC) which is designed to lower the temperature of the air in order to make the combustion process even more efficient (Figures 1 and 2).In response to ODI-s Information Request letter, Ford indicated that a misfire condition could occur after steady-speed operation under significantly humid and rainy conditions.Ford-s analysis found that under those conditions, condensation could form and accumulate on the inside of the CAC tubes which could then be ingested into the engine during particularly hard acceleration near wide-open throttle.An engine misfire of up to three cylinders could occur if the amount of condensed water released from the CAC exceeded the engine-s operating threshold for water ingestion.Ford noted that due to regulations set by the EPA, the powertrain software would disable up to two of the misfiring cylinders for no more than 30 seconds and until the driver tips out the throttle in order to protect the catalytic converter from damage. Ford-s testing of this condition on the subject vehicles showed that a vehicle experiencing such a condition would continue to maintain its speed as well as accelerate, albeit at a lower rate than expected by the driver.Similar results were obtained in testing done by NHTSA-s Vehicle Research and Testing Center in East Liberty, Ohio (Figure 6).In an ongoing process to address the problem Ford issued a series of TSBs where a deflector shield was installed onto the CAC (Figures 3, 4 and 5).In January 2014 Ford indicated that its data shows that the TSBs have been effective in resolving the problem, that for the MY 2013 vehicles their remedy is 100% effective and the latest TSBs for MY 2011 -" 2012 are 95% effective.The 525 complaints to ODI and the total 4,120 unique VIN complaints listed in the Failure Report are incidents of alleged reduced power or driveability symptoms and not all are necessarily related to the condition created by water ingestion.Reduced power conditions can occur for a variety of reasons including faults with ignition coils, spark plugs, a catalytic converter, the throttle body, turbocharger, fuel pump/filter, powertrain control module (hardware or software) or transmission shifting problems.Ford also noted that in a large number of warranty claims on the subject vehicles, the CAC was replaced or a TSB procedure was performed when the symptoms exhibited were inconsistent with a CAC water ingestion related issue.Given these circumstances, further use of the agency resources in this matter does not appear to be warranted.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will continue to monitor complaints and other information relating to the alleged defect and take further action in the future if warranted.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE13018 »

  2. Brake Vacuum Pump Failure NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15006

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: October 16, 2015
    • Date Closed: April 28, 2016
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Electric
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Power Assist
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Power Assist:Vacuum

    Summary: On February 15, 2016, Ford Motor Company initiated Customer Satisfaction Program 15N05 to extend warranty coverage for the electric vacuum pump in certain model year (MY) 2011 through 2012 Ford F-150 pickup trucks equipped with 3.5L GTDI engines.The program extends coverage for up to 10 years of service or 150,000 miles from the warranty start date of the vehicle, all vehicles are eligible for the program through July 30, 2016 regardless of mileage.Ford's program covers all repairs related to electric vacuum pump (EVP) malfunctions including excessive noise, vibration, or change in brake pedal feel while applying the brakes at cold start. Ford states that the engine intake manifold is the primary source of vacuum for the brake booster and is fully compliant to motor vehicle safety standards without the supplemental vacuum supplied by the EVP.The company also contends that failure modes related to the EVP are progressive and provide warning to operators by way of noise and vibration before an operator to experience any temporary change in brake pedal feel.ODI's analysis of warranty data found that the majority of claims involved consumer concerns with EVP noise or vibration from the left front fender area when the vehicle is first started. Continued operation in this mode with pump motor noise will eventually result in the EVP seizing or becoming non-functional.Component failure analysis indicated that Ford and its supplier, Continental, identified a pump crank drive corrosion condition due to moisture entry through the vacuum intake.Corrosion damage to EVP internal components may eventually result in a blown fuse in the power distribution box and total loss of EVP function.Analysis of consumer complaints, field reports, and warranty data related to EVP failures found thatincidents predominantly occurred in driveways and parking lots in the periods immediately after cold engine starts.Many consumers operated their vehicle for some period of time with a blown EVP fuse without realizing that the pump had failed or that the vehicle had a brake system malfunction.Consumers who did experience braking performance issues reporteda temporary hard brake pedal condition at start-up followed by more consistent normal pedal feel after few seconds.On June 22, 2015, Ford developed a remedy procedure and issued TSB 15-0105 instructing dealers to replace the vacuum pump and install a new vacuum pump harness kit. In addition to reviewing test data submitted by Ford, ODI assessed safety risks associated with the alleged defect under various operating conditions, including: 1) baseline system performance with full engine and EVP vacuum available using exemplar parts, 2) disabled EVP and booster vacuum regulated to simulate worst case conditions for engine intake manifold vacuum supply to the brake booster (approximately 300 mbar); and 3) all source vacuum to the brake booster removed and Optimized Hydraulic Braking (OHB) mode active to represent complete loss of brake booster function (note: this condition is a more severe brake boost system failure mode than the alleged defect).ODI also analyzed all complaints and warranty claims to identify incidents alleging brake system performance concerns related to EVP failures.These analyses identified no brake performance issues or resulting changes in stopping distances either on highway or city traffic conditions.Two complaints alleging EVP malfunctions caused or contributed to rear-end collisions during attempted decelerations from road speeds are not believed to be related to the alleged defect.The EVP provides supplemental vacuum during initial start-up and idle with a cold engine.Both incidents (Continued on attachment A)

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA15006 »

  3. Brake Vacuum Pump Failure NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE15026

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: June 22, 2015
    • Date Closed: October 19, 2015
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Electric
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Power Assist
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Power Assist:Vacuum

    Summary: On June 22, 2015, the Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) opened Preliminary Evaluation PE15-026 to investigate incidents of increased brake pedal effort at cold start and extended stopping distance while driving in traffic, resulting from failures of the electric brake vacuum assist pump in model year (MY) 2011-2012 Ford F-150 pickup trucks equipped with 3.5L GTDI engines. In response to ODI's Information Request (IR) for PE15-026, Ford provided ODI with 396 complaints and field reports relating to incidents of increased brake pedal effort or malfunctions in the electric vacuum pump (EVP). ODI's analysis of the data provided by Ford identified 7 crashes and 1,851 warranty claims related to either a hard brake pedal condition or reduced brake effectiveness. Additionally, ODI identified one report in its database alleging an injury to an occupant of a vehicle struck in the rear by a subject F-150 vehicle with a failed EVP as documented in the police accident report referencing a dealer assessment of the pump.According to Ford, the subject vehicles utilize a traditional brake vacuum booster to provide power assist for braking and the EVP is intended to operate to maintain consistent brake pedal feel. The engine intake manifold is the primary source of vacuum for the booster and is fully compliant to motor vehicle safety standards without the EVP. Ford described the conditions related to a change in brake pedal feel as limited and temporary and provided component failure analysis showing evidence of water entry into the EVP which caused internal pump corrosion. Ford indicated that the EVP failure mode is progressive and provides warning to operators by way of noise and vibration before an operator is likely to experience any temporary change in brake pedal feel. Damage to the EVP motor bearing may eventually result in a blown EVP fuse and total loss of EVP function. Ford provided test data showing the brake pedal forces and pedal travel curves over time for 0.3g decelerations to a stop from 80kph (50mph) for: 1) normal system (full engine and EVP vacuum available); 2) Ford's approximation of worst case booster performance with EVP failure (EVP disabled and booster vacuum regulated to 300mbar to simulate cold start, all accessory loads on, and starting at 0 vacuum); and 3) with all source vacuum to the brake booster removed and Hydraulic Boost Compensation (HBC) active to represent complete loss of brake booster function. The Ford tests showed that the brake pedal forces required for achieving the 0.3g decelerations were relatively low for the normal condition, 35-40 N (8-9 lbf), increased by approximately 2-3 times normal when the EVP is disabled, 75-115 N (17-26 lbf), and increased by about 5-6 times normal for the complete brake booster failure condition, 205-215 N (46-48 lbf). This Preliminary Evaluation has been upgraded to Engineering Analysis (EA15-006) to test for EVP malfunctions under other vehicle operating conditions (e.g., low-speed driveway braking after cold-start with failed EVP), potential human factors contributions and to further assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.The VOQs associated with the opening of this investigation are:10565994, 10575987, 10598351, 10604687, 10605701, 10607811, 10610491, 10615536, 10617828, 10619545, 10643075, 10650578, 10662151, 10664415, 10666988, 10668069, 10678844, 10695537, 10700874, 10706217, 10706271, 10712465, 10723033, 10723792, 10726960, 10730549, 10730721, 10730735, 10730837, 10730909, 10731008, 10731135, 10731157, 10731165, 10731395, 10731758, 10732609, 10732878, 10733375, 10733804, 10734558, 10734613, 10743859, 10744214, 10744413, 10744507, 10747842, 10748017, 10750395, 10759142, 10761406, 10762038, 10762439.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE15026 »