Automotive giant Ford (F) back in 2020 recalled over 488,000 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX cars over problems with its brake hoses, as over 50 drivers complained that their brake hose ruptured with no warning and started leaking brake fluid into the vehicle.
While Ford examined the vehicles and replaced the brake jounce hoses with a new braid material, the situation is bringing further scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
What's The Deal With 1.7 Million Cars?
The vehicle safety agency opened an inquiry into whether the fix was sufficient and if the recall should be expanded to over 1.7 million Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars released between 2013 and 2018, Reuters reported on Friday.
"The cause was due to consistent localized failures of the internal reinforcement braid due to cyclic fatigue during suspension and steering articulations," NHTSA said in a press release. "The recall replaces both front brake jounce hoses with a new revised braid material and perform a brake system bleed."
NHTSA said that there has been one report of a crash with no injuries caused by the ruptures. In other cases, the problem was noticed and fixed before the situation could become threatening.
Ford is fully cooperating with the probe as NHTSA examines "the scope adequacy of [the original] safety recall," according to Reuters.
"The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 50 complaints alleging front brake hose failures on MY 2013-2018 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ vehicles," reads the release. "These vehicles identified fall outside the scope of Safety Recall 20V-469."
What's With All These Recalls Lately?
While 1.7 million Ford vehicles are now under NHTSA's microscope, a full recall of that size is extremely unlikely. One of the biggest recent recalls in the last year happened when, in December, the government branch forced Tesla to recall over 54,000 Model 3 and Model S vehicles.
News coverage has focused on electric vehicles as their batteries are more prone to shorting into a fire that is larger and more difficult to control than what is typically seen with gas-powered engines.
While research from insurance firm AutoinsuranceEZ found that electric engines have a 0.03% chance of catching fire, some conservative voices immediately saw an opportunity to argue that electric vehicles are unsafe.
In June, Ford also announced that it would be recalling approximately 48,924 Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles produced between May 27, 2020, and May 24, 2022, due to a safety defect over how the vehicles start.
Luxury German carmaker BMW (BMWYY) was another carmaker that recently recalled a number of xDrive 50, iX M60, i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50 models after an April safety inspection found pieces of cathode debris inside the battery of a 2022 i4 eDrive back.
Ford stock was largely unaffected by the news and on Friday closed up more than 40% over the last month at $16.18.
"I really like the way Ford shares are trading right now," Bret Kenwell wrote for TheStreet's Real Money last month. "Not only did Ford stock push through the 10-week, but the move came after it found its footing at a significant support area: $10 and the 200-week moving average."