Ford Recalls Bronco Sport, Escape SUVs to Fix Brake Problems

2022 Ford Bronco Sport front grille Photo: Ford

Ford is recalling nearly 115,000 Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs because a government safety audit uncovered an issue with how their brakes might perform in an emergency. The audit found that if the vehicles’ power brakes fail, they would not be able to stop within the distance required by federal safety regulations.

The problem is due to improperly manufactured rear brake linings, and owners of these vehicles would only encounter the issue if their power brakes failed. Ford will let owners know by mail if their vehicles are included in the recall and when they can bring their vehicles to a dealership for a free repair.

MORE ON SAFETY

This recall is notable because of how it was discovered. Automakers often use internal tests to make sure their vehicles meet federal safety standards, a process known as self-certification. But the government’s chief automotive safety regulator—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)—occasionally tests vehicles to make sure that vehicles remain in compliance.

In order to meet federal regulations, a vehicle like the Escape or Bronco must be able to stop within 551 feet from a speed of 60 mph if its power brakes have failed. This is already a multiple of the distance for a vehicle with working power brakes, as our tests showed that a Bronco Sport in good working order should take just 126 feet to stop from 60 mph. If a vehicle’s power brakes fail, the driver will likely notice that the pedal feels different and that the car requires significantly more effort to stop.

Ford’s internal tests of a Bronco Sport in 2018 showed that its SUV met the regulatory requirement, but when NHTSA tested the same vehicle as part of a compliance audit in November 2021, the agency found that it took 583 feet to stop with the power brakes inoperative—32 more feet than regulations allow. Ford’s own internal investigation found that Escape SUVs may also be affected.

In documents provided to NHTSA, Ford says that it is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this recall, and that it is in frequent communication with the agency.

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 2021-2022 Ford Escape and Ford Bronco Sport SUVs without an electronic brake booster.

The problem: A manufacturing error at a supplier led to vehicles being manufactured with faulty rear brake linings. These vehicles do not meet federal safety standards.

The fix: Ford is still developing a fix for this issue.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Ford at 866-436-7332

NHTSA campaign number: 21V922. Ford’s own number for this recall is 21C31

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle using our Car Recall Tracker.

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Head shot photo of CRO Cars CIA editor Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Despite my love for quirky, old European sedans like the Renault Medallion, it's my passion to help others find a safe, reliable car that still puts a smile on their face—even if they're stuck in traffic. When I'm not behind the wheel or the keyboard, you can find me exploring a new city on foot or planning my next trip.