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NHTSA announces investigation into Ford F-150 brakes

Pickup truck buyers in Georgia and around the country have made the Ford F-150 America's best-selling vehicle, but a federal investigation into its braking systems has raised quality control and safety questions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Sept. 28 that it was launching an investigation after receiving reports of sudden and total braking loss from 25 F-150 pickup truck owners. The braking systems being investigated were fitted to F-150 pickup trucks equipped with 3.5 liter V6 engines manufactured in 2015 and 2016.

F-150 owners reported to the NHTSA that the brakes on their trucks had failed without warning and were ineffective even when the brake pedal was pressed to the floor. The agency is taking the reports seriously because the braking systems concerned have been fitted to 282,000 vehicles sold in the United States. It hopes to discover what is causing F-150 brakes to fail and how widespread the auto defect is.

The NHTSA investigation does not mark the first time that questions have been raised about the safety of certain Ford F-150 pickup truck braking systems. The announcement comes less than five months after Ford recalled V6 equipped F-150s built in 2013 and 2014 because of leaking brake fluid. A representative of the Michigan-based auto maker promised that the company would cooperate fully with NHTSA investigators.

When accidents are caused by defective or poorly designed products, those who are harmed as a result may seek compensation through product liability lawsuits. The defendants in these cases usually have considerable resources and talented lawyers at their disposal should they choose to litigate, but these cases are often settled quietly behind closed doors. Personal injury attorneys may offer to have their clients sign non-disclosure agreements when manufacturers in product liability cases have reputations to protect and hope for a speedy and private resolution.

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