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NHTSA closes Ford Explorer brake failure investigation

by Justin King

Multiple failures reported by a single police department have been blamed on "unique" conditions not experienced by other vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed its investigation into Ford Explorer brake failures.

The agency launched its inquiry in 2015 after the Sacramento Police Department reported multiple front brake hose failures during its pursuit driving training program. The issues were associated with extreme temperatures.

An engineering analysis determined that the police department's problems were caused by drive-soak intervals. Testing of hose assemblies did not find evidence of thermal degradation, however.

The agency closed the investigation after determining that there was no broader trend of failures among other Explorer and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles in the field.

"NHTSA has not confirmed any incidents of caliper crimp failures due to overheating in vehicles not subjected to the Sacramento training course driving," the agency says. "The low number of hose assembly failure reports and the absence of any verified incidents of heat related front brake hose crimp failures since 2015 suggests that the Sacramento PD incidents resulted from conditions unique to the training program."