Ford is recalling certain 2021- and 2022-model-year Escape and Bronco Sport crossovers for improperly manufactured rear brake pads that won't stop the vehicles within the government-mandated distance. The problem is said to be caused by a manufacturing error at Continental Automotive Mexicana, the brake pad supplier. Ford estimates there are nearly 125,000 vehicles covered by the recall, none of which have an electronic brake booster, built from December 2020 to November 2011. The model breakdown in the U.S. is:
- 2020 - 2021 Escape: 49,553 units
- 2022 Escape: 2 units
- 2021 Bronco Sport: 65,429 units
- 2022 Bronco Sport: 12 units
That's 114,996 total units here, the remainder being in Canada and Mexico.
The pad issue was discovered when the National Highway Traffic Safety Association performed an audit of the Bronco Sport. Government regulations require that if a vehicle's power brakes fail, that vehicle when driven at a certain speed needs to be able to stop before covering a certain distance. In this case, a Bronco Sport going 60 miles per hour needed to be able to stop in no more than 551 feet without power brakes. The NHTSA audit found the Bronco Sport needed 583 feet for the stop. Hence the recall. According to Consumer Reports, the average braking distance for a small SUV going 60 mph is 132 feet, and says the Bronco Sport performed the task in 126 feat.
To stress, the issue at hand only happens if the power brakes fail. When Ford investigated after the NHTSA findings, the automaker discovered the Escape, on which the Bronco Sport is based, could also be affected. Ford is working on validating a fix now. Once that's done, the company will notify owners by mail beginning January 10, 2022, if they should take their cars to the dealer to have the matter repaired free of charge. The automaker says it's not aware of any crashes or injuries because of this.
Owners with questions can contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332 and cite internal recall number 21S46 for the Bronco Sport, or 21C31 for the Escape. Or they can contact NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236, or online at www.safercar.gov, in reference to campaign number 21V922.