[EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ford Focus Hybrid some may have read in earlier copy of this story is in fact the Ford Fusion Hybrid for reference – EarthTechling regrets the error.]
The issues plaguing the braking system of the 2010 Prius, which is rumored to be soon recalled by Toyota despite claims at the moment otherwise, are bad enough press for hybrid lovers. Now comes word – to make matters worse – of reported braking issues from owners of the other popular hybrid, the 2010 Ford Fusion. Ford, hoping to stave off the public relations nightmare its Japanese competition is currently experiencing, said today it is “announcing a customer satisfaction program to update the software of the regenerative brake system of some 2010-model Ford Fusion Hybrids and Mercury Milan Hybrids.”
Ford say it has received some reports suggesting drivers “experienced a different brake feel when the hybrid’s unique regenerative brakes switch to conventional hydraulic braking. While the vehicles maintain full braking capability, customers may initially perceive the condition as loss of brakes.” An “insider” at Ford, according to Green Car Advisor, said that “the brake systems on the two hybrids are not related to the brakes on Toyota hybrids.” The America auto maker is saying publicly that its cars’ braking systems maintain “full conventional brakes and full ABS function even as the customer sees visual indicators and hears a chime.”
Ford plans to notify drivers impacted by this braking issue via mail about getting a free upgrade to fix the problem at a local Ford dealership. While Ford and Toyota move to address these issues, as Hybrid Cars points out, the fact that two major hybrids are experiencing similar, though not related, problems with their braking systems opens up the possibility to “greater public and government scrutiny” on all hybrids in general.